Story By: Juan Mayes, Sub Editor: Joseph Golder, Agency: Golder’s News And Sport
The Spanish Treasury have appealed against the decision to acquit Liverpool legend Xabi Alonso of tax fraud.
Former Real Madrid superstar Alonso, 38, was acquitted of tax fraud on 26th November after he was accused of failing to pay taxes on his image rights to the tune of 5 million EUR (4.3 million GBP) in the years 2010, 2011 and 2012.
According to Spanish newspaper ‘El Mundo’ the tax office considers the decision to be “incorrect” as it lacks “legal rationality”.
El Mundo report “several elements of evidence kept into account during the sentencing were not subject to cross-examination during the oral proceedings.”
Another motive for the appeal is “the value placed on the evidence by the court which embodied the sentencing was incorrect”.
Alonso’s sentence was reduced from five years to two and a half after he paid 3 million EUR (2.5 million GBP). It is unclear why he paid the amount.
Alonso is accused of working with accountant Ivan Zaldua Azcuenaga and Kardazli Commercial Services company director Ignasi Maestre Casanova to fraudulently sell his image rights “with the intention of obtaining an illicit fiscal benefit”.
The former Liverpool man allegedly sold his image rights to Madeira-based Kardazli Commercial Services in 2009, but the company reportedly belonged to a Panama-based group which Alonso owned 100 percent of.
The assignment of the image rights was made in 2009 when Alonso was still a non-resident taxpayer in Spain after his move from Liverpool, but illegally continued “until at least 2012”, according to prosecutors.
Alonso used Kardazli Commercial Services as an “instrument” to receive payments which were not related to his image rights according to prosecutors who claim the former midfielder’s actions cost the Spanish Tax Administration 2,032,845 EUR (1,789,432 GBP).
An unnamed prosecutor for the Public Ministry told reporters: “Why do we conclude the accused was paid if he had rescinded his image rights to a business?” going on to say it was “a tool for income and payment” after the courts concluded Alonso was legally paid by companies through Kardazli.
It is unclear if there will be a trial.
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