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Messi tax fraud case continues after judge refuses to drop charges

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BARCELONA, Spain — A Spanish judge has rejected an appeal filed by Lionel Messi's lawyers to drop tax fraud charges against the Barcelona star, meaning the case against Messi and his father Jorge Messi will continue.

PHOTO: PSG's Marco Verratti, right, is congratulated by PSG's Marquinhos after scoring his side's 2nd goal, while Barcelona's Lionel Messi, left, passes by during the Champions League Group F soccer match between Paris Saint German and Barcelona at Parc des Princes stadium in Paris, France, Tuesday, Sept. 30, 2014. (AP Photo/Michel Euler)
PSG's Marco Verratti, right, is congratulated by PSG's Marquinhos after scoring his side's 2nd goal, while Barcelona's Lionel Messi, left, passes by during the Champions League Group F soccer match between Paris Saint German and Barcelona at Parc des Princes stadium in Paris, France, Tuesday, Sept. 30, 2014. (AP Photo/Michel Euler)

The judge rebutted the counter demand that the football player be excluded from the case against him and his father that alleges they withheld 4 million euros ($5.3 million) in unpaid taxes from 2007-09.

The judge's statement read that "in this type of crime, it is not necessary for someone to have complete knowledge of all the accounting and business operations nor the exact quantity, rather it is sufficient to be aware of the designs to commit fraud and consent to them."

Messi and his father have five days to appeal the ruling.

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