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Judge rules Messi should not post bail

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MADRID (AP) - A Spanish court has declined a request by the State Agency for Tax Administration to set bail for Lionel Messi and his father in a case of alleged tax fraud after ruling that a payment made satisfied the case's legal requirements.

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In a ruling published on Wednesday, a Catalan court says that a payment of more than $6.6 million made by Jorge Horacio Messi, the Barcelona star's father, made it unlikely that either Messi or his father would withhold funds ``during the legal process of a pending tax fraud trial.''

The complaint, originally lodged by Raquel Amado, a state prosecutor for the northeastern region of Catalonia, alleged Messi tried to conceal the extent of his earnings and he owes $5.3 million in back taxes.

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