Lionel Messi in court to testify in tax fraud case

BARCELONA: Lionel Messi and his father are in court to defend themselves from tax fraud charges.

Wearing a dark suit and tie, Messi sat alongside his father in front of the judge during early proceedings in the third day of the trial.

Messi and his father, Jorge Horacio Messi, are facing three counts of tax fraud and could be sentenced to nearly two years in prison if found guilty of defrauding Spain’s tax authority of 4.1 million euros ($4.5 million) from 2007-09.

They are not likely to face any jail time but could be fined and have to forfeit possible future tax benefits.

Some people showed their support to the player as he arrived Thursday, while a few yelled words against him to “give the money back.” -AP