Sunday, December 10, 2023

The Supreme Court confirms the acquittal of Xabi Alonso for tax fraud

The Supreme Court has confirmed the acquittal of former footballer and current Bayer Leverkusen coach, Xabi Alonsoin the case in which he was accused of defrauding the Treasury of almost two million euros between 2010 and 2012.

The Criminal Chamber has rejected the appeal of the State Attorney’s Office against the ruling of the Superior Court of Justice of Madrid, which this summer ratified the second acquittal of the former San Sebastian soccer player and that of two of his tax advisors of a crime against the Public Treasury.

The facts focus on the contract of August 1, 2009 by which Xabi Alonso transferred the exploitation of their image rights to the Kardzali company, based on the Portuguese island of Madeira. According to the Lawyers’ Office, it was a simulated legal transaction, conceived as a strategy to defraud the Spanish public treasury, thus hiding the correct taxation of the income associated with the footballer’s image rights.

The Supreme Court differentiates this process from others involving professional footballers who were convicted by the Barcelona Court and, in some of those cases, the high court ratified the conviction, explaining that they are not comparablesince those were convicted in the first instance and Alonso was acquitted.

The Supreme Court recalls the limits derived from the appeal as a procedural instrument to convert an acquittal sentence into a conviction and, in fact, it says that there are evidentiary inferences that may be susceptible to an alternative trial. However, the rejection of the Madrid Court, which has led to the denial that the contract signed by Alonso in favor of Kardzali was filtered by any kind of simulation and, in particular, the TSJM’s denial of fraud as an intellectual element of reinforcement Regarding other operations covered by the factum, “they close any possibility of review by this Chamber that reverses the acquittal pronouncement.”

The ruling also explains that “when the liquidation submitted by the taxable person reveals in its entirety the profits obtained in any economic activity and offers the Public Treasury a tax route that the inspection services consider incorrectthis interpretative disagreement referring not to ‘what’, but to ‘how much’, cannot become the origin of a criminal process.”

Likewise, the magistrates respond to the Legal Profession by pointing out that “no anomaly can be detected in the fact that the Court attributes greater credibility to the expert opinion offered by the defense, compared to what has been called the official expert opinion.” “What’s more, it should be considered a symptom – unfortunately rare – of proximity to the principles of contradiction and the right of defense that act as true legitimizing sources of the criminal process,” they add.


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