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Lionel Messi charity fraud charges: Spanish court reopens case

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Fraud charges against Lionel Messi's charity have been reopened by a Spanish court.

A Barcelona judge dismissed a complaint filed by Federico Rettori, a former employee of Messi's foundation who had accused the non-profit organisation of fraud, embezzlement and money laundering, in September due to a lack of evidence

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Following an appeal, a high court in Madrid has decided to reopen the case in order to allow the plaintiff, Rettori, to give evidence before judge Maria Tardon, a court spokesperson told ESPN FC.

In dismissing the case in September, the judge wrote that the complaint "was based on an account put together from stories in the press, without bringing even a single element that was personally and directly known" by the plaintiff.

In his complaint, Rettori claimed that Messi's foundation invested a minimum part of what it collected to social causes and stated that funds were diverted for private activities.

In October 2018, Messi lost a court case in Spain against two journalists that reported "irregularities" in the finances of his foundation.

Messi claimed that three articles in Spanish daily newspaper ABC had damaged his honour and demanded €202,786 in compensation.

The judge dismissed the Barcelona forward's claim and Messi had to pay the court costs.