Messi's brother under house arrest over gun possession

Barcelona star Lionel Messi's family - (from left) brother Matias, Lionel, sister Maria Sol and brother Rodrigo with the Ballon d’Or trophy. PHOTO: FACEBOOK/LEO MESSI

BUENOS AIRES (AFP) - Matias Messi, older brother of Barcelona and Argentina star Lionel, has been sentenced to house arrest in Argentina for possession of a weapon, a prosecutor said Monday (Dec 11).

Messi, 35, was to be discharged from hospital later Monday and transferred to his home in Rosario, 300 kilometres north of the capital Buenos Aires, head of the prosecutor's office for Cybercrimes and Weapons Lucas Altare said.

He was taken to hospital with facial injuries after being found in a drifting and blood-stained motorboat on Nov 30, apparently after colliding with a sandbank. He was arrested for possession of a firearm found in the boat.

It's the second time that the star's brother has been arrested for possession of a firearm. The offense carries a jail sentence of between three- and-a-half and eight years.

"The guarantor of this house detention agreement is his father, Jorge Messi," said Altare, the prosecutor.

Family lawyer Ignacio Carbone told reporters that the defendant "is a good person, he's not going to go on the run."

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