Lionel Messi’s brother faces 8-year jail over gun possession
Lionel Messi’s brother, Matias, faces eight-year jail term over alleged illegal possession of a gun.
The footballer’s sibling was arrested in hospital on Friday after police discovered a gun in a blood-covered boat Matias claimed he abandoned following an accident.
He was, however, operated on over the weekend for injuries including a broken jaw and facial cuts.
According to local reports, under Argentinian law, Messi’s brother could be sentenced to up to eight and a half years in prison if convicted as the minimum prison sentence he could face for an illegal firearms conviction would be three and a half years .
The Barcelona star’s brother has been placed under police guard at the Sanatorio Parque,a private hospital in city of Rosario, Argentina following ongoing investigation, the Sun UK reported
Matias’ lawyer Ignacio Carbone suggested the gun found on the boat could have been planted by cops insisting his client checked himself into hospital after injuring himself when he hit a sandbank.
State prosecutor Jose Luis Caterina rejected any suggestion of foul play, insisting the police procedure had been “transparent, clear and legitimate” and revealing the gun, a .380 handgun, was ready to be fired when it was found and had six bullets inside.
Judge Andres Donnola approved the 35-year-old should be remanded in prison once he is well enough to leave hospital until December 23 for further trial
Matias, who underwent an operation on Saturday, will have to inform court officials before he is given permission to leave hospital so the judge can decide whether to let him return home or send him to jail pending an ongoing investigation.
Last year Matias Messi was instructed to teach football as part of a probation order after being caught with an unlicensed .22 pistol in his Audi A5 during a stop in October 2015.