Story By: Juan Mayes, Sub Editor: Joseph Golder, Agency: Golder’s News And Sport
A judge has decided to permanently archive the case accusing Argentine superstar Lionel Messi of fraud and money laundering through his Leo Messi Foundation.
A Spanish National Court judge based in the nation’s capital Madrid, Maria Tardon, has decided to archive the case against the Leo Messi Foundation which included accusations against Barcelona striker Lionel Messi, his father and representative Jorge Messi and his brother and acting President of the foundation Rodrigo Messi among others.
Former employee of the Leo Messi Foundation Federico Rettori accused Messi of fraud, money laundering and financial crimes, all allegedly committed through his foundation.
Local media report Rettori claims: “They have used the Leo Messi Foundation as a tool to generate a screen and promote the image and income of the Foundation without the slightest intention of using the money for social actions or projects as they are obligated to do according to the foundation’s official directive.”
Despite Rettori’s claims and proof of previous employment in the foundation judge Tardon has decided to archive the case.
In her statement, Tardon said the accusations are “based on news stories without showing a single element of personal or direct knowledge” that would make his claims “plausible”,
Tardon also said that Rettori’s claims are not “relevant to penal law” and lacking any prejudice, Rettori can “make the accusations he sees fit” but should do it in the “civil courts, not in the penal courts.”
The decision to archive the case will have a permanent effect. This means the accusations against Messi and his entourage cannot be re-opened in the penal courts.
It is unclear if Rettori plans to appeal in the time allotted before the case is officially archived or if he will move on to a civil court.
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