Former Portugal finance minister Manuela Ferreira Leite has come to the defence of her compatriot Cristiano Ronaldo after Spanish prosecutors filed a lawsuit against the Real Madrid star.
The prosecutor's office in the Spanish capital is alleging that the Portuguese international knowingly used a business structure created in 2010 to hide his income from Spanish authorities. They have accused him of evading tax of €14.7m (£13m, $16m).
Real released a statement, saying they have full confidence in their player. The Champions League and the La Liga winners claim the former Manchester United man had "always shown a clear will to fulfill all his tax obligations."
A source told IBTimes UK that Ronaldo is "outraged" by these allegations and is keen on leaving Spain. The 32-year-old wants to leave Real and has already informed his decision to his current employers.
Ferreira Leite claims that the Spanish authorities are looking to charge Ronaldo for the income that should not be even subjected to their tax laws.
"What we should be saying is that the Spanish Tax authorities are trying to take advantage of incomes that aren't subject to Spanish tax law," Ferreira Leite told TVI24.
"This is what we should be discussing; we should be attacking and criticizing the criteria of the Spanish Tax authorities and not saying he (Ronaldo) is at risk of an eight year prison sentence.
"I only had to listen to Dr. Lobo Xavier [ António Lobo Xavier] firstly because he speaks very clearly about it and explains the situation very well – to understand there was no subject to discuss. He said various times there's no offshore accounts, no tax evasion, no debts... there's nothing.
"There is an interpretation that is not even in the law and that interpretation is beneficial to the Spanish tax authorities. Nobody is ever arrested or punished for not complying with something for which no law even exists."