Court says Lionel Messi repaid Spanish taxman

The judge said he was consulting with the prosecution before making a ruling on a separate request by Messi's lawyers for the planned September 17 hearing to be postponed.

updated: September 05, 2013 16:33 IST
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Madrid: Barcelona star Lionel Messi and his father have repaid five million euros ($6.6 million) owed to the taxman before facing court on tax evasion charges, according to a judge's ruling obtained Thursday.

The tax fraud charges filed in June were a stunning blow to the prestige of Messi, long seen as a more humble figure than most top-class footballers -- in particular his fierce Real Madrid rival Cristiano Ronaldo.

The ruling by a judge in Gava, a Mediterranean coastal town near Barcelona, said the Argentine player's father Jorge Messi had deposited 5.02 million euros with the court on August 14 to cover more than four million euros in unpaid taxes, plus interest.

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