Laporta defends Messi in tax case
13 June 2013, 14:36
Barcelona - Joan Laporta, the former president of Spanish champions Barcelona, on
Thursday defended the club's idol Lionel Messi against charges of tax
"I am convinced that neither Leo nor his father have committed any
infractions or irregularities," Laporta, who was Barca president from
2003 to 2010, told radio station Cadena COPE.
Messi and his father Jorge were charged on Wednesday by public
prosecutor Raquel Amado in Gava, the seaside resort close to Barcelona
where Messi lives, of defrauding the tax authorities of €4.1 million
between 2007 and 2009 by ceding his image rights to fictitious companies
in tax havens such as Uruguay and Belize.
"I don't recall where were based the companies through which we paid
Messi (for his image rights). What I do know is that all of them were
legal companies. I know they (the Messis) had a conflict with one of
their advisers, and maybe this is where the charges come from," Laporta
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