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Messi absent as his tax fraud trial opens in Spain

 Agencies |  2016-06-01 22:15:27.0  |  Barcelona

Messi, 28, and his father, Jorge Horacio Messi, are accused of using a chain of fake companies in Belize and Uruguay to avoid paying taxes on 4.16 million euros ( 4.7 million) of Messi’s income earned through the sale of his image rights from 2007-09. 

They have been charged with three counts of tax fraud. The Barcelona court hearing the case adjourned the trial at 1000 GMT after considering preliminary legal questions because of the absence of witnesses who had been due to appear, including Messi’s mother Celia Cuccitini.

 The trial will resume on Wednesday at 0800 GMT with testimony from the witnesses and experts. 

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