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Wednesday, July 6 has been a day for the long arm of the law for some of sport’s most iconic men.
Barcelona star Lionel Messi has been sentenced to 21 months in prison for tax evasion, according reports from the Spanish media. The court also sentenced his father, Jorge Messi for defrauding Spain €4.1m between 2007 and 2009.
The footballer and his father were found guilty of three counts of tax fraud in Wednesday’s ruling by the court in Barcelona. They also face millions of euros in fines for using tax havens in Belize and Uruguay used to conceal earnings from image rights.
Messi is said to have claimed that he “knew nothing” about the management of his financial affairs, saying he was “playing football”.
But the report however, revealed that the two may avoid the jail term because in Spain, prison terms under two years can be served under probation.
Meanwhile, South African Paralympic gold medallist Oscar Pistorius was handed a six-year jail term on Wednesday morning, for the 2013 murder of his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp. The state had called for him to receive no less than the prescribed minimum 15-year sentence for murder.
“Public opinion may be loud and persistent, but it can play no role in the decision of this court,” High Court judge Thokozile Masipa said in her ruling. Pistorius was taken straight to jail after the ruling.