Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 20 November 2019

Cristiano Ronaldo receives suspended jail sentence over tax fraud case in Spain

The Portuguese forward's hearing came over his time spent at Real Madrid between 2009 and 2018

Cristiano Ronaldo leaves court following his hearing into tax fraud. AFP
Cristiano Ronaldo leaves court following his hearing into tax fraud. AFP

Cristiano Ronaldo has accepted a fine and suspended jail term for tax fraud in Spain on Tuesday, signing a deal to settle a case which will cost him a total of 18.8 million (Dh78.4m).

Ronaldo, holding hands with his Spanish fiancee Georgina Rodriguez, came out of the court room smiling, pausing to sign autographs before leaving in a black van.

The 33-year-old Juventus forward, who played for Real Madrid from 2009-18, agreed to settle the case by paying the fine and accepting a suspended jail sentence.

Under Spanish law, a first offender can serve anything less than a two-year sentence under probation and Ronaldo will not have to go to prison.

His court appearance lasted about 15 minutes as the five-times world footballer of the year only needed to sign off on the previously settled agreement.

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The trial of Ronaldo's former Real Madrid team mate Xabi Alonso, also in court on Tuesday over accusations of tax fraud, was suspended, a court magistrate said.

Prosecutors were seeking a five-year jail sentence and a fine of 4m for Spaniard Alonso, who retired as a player in 2017, accusing him of defrauding the Spanish state of some 2m between 2010 and 2012.

Alonso said he was confident he had not committed a crime and would have to wait while the magistrates evaluated his case.

"I'd be worried if I thought I had something to hide or something I didn't do right but as that isn't the case I am carrying on," Alonso told reporters outside the court.

Ronaldo had to enter the courtroom through the front door after his request for special security measures to avoid the spotlight was denied on Monday.

In 2017, Ronaldo denied the accusation that he knowingly used a business structure to hide income generated by his image rights in Spain between 2011 and 2014.

After reaching the deal, he paid a fine of 5.7m, plus interest of about 1m, in July 2018, the prosecutor's office said last week.

Updated: January 22, 2019 03:39 PM

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