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Redknapp tax trial jury head home

The trial of Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp on charges of tax evasion has gone into a 13th day.

The jury was sent home from Southwark Crown Court on Tuesday after four hours of deliberating its verdict.

Judge Anthony Leonard said in his two-hour summing up of the case that they must focus on the evidence they had heard during the 12 days of the trial, instead of any outside influences.

The judge told the eight men and four women on the jury that Redknapp and his co-accused Milan Mandaric “are both men of good character” and any pre-conceived prejudices should be ignored.

“This case is not about football but about some allegations of tax fraud set around the world of football,” Judge Leonard said.

“Football is an emotive subject, stirring in an individual anything from deep passion to resentment. It has become so commercialised that it may be thought by some to have lost its way.”

The judge reminded the jurors that they must reach a unanimous verdict.

“The verdict must be one on which you are all agreed,” he said.

“You may have heard of a majority verdict. That will not apply here.”

Redknapp and Mandaric both deny two counts of cheating the public revenue stemming from their time as manager and owner of Portsmouth.

The prosecution claims payments totalling 189,000 pounds made by Mandaric into an off-shore Monaco account belonging to Redknapp were bonuses related to his employment.

Jurors were warned by the prosecution to ‘keep their eyes on the ball’ when they considered their verdicts.

Redknapp’s barrister, John Kelsey-Fry QC, said on Monday that some of the crown’s evidence was “repugnant to all our basic instincts of fairness”.

Mandaric’s QC, Lord Macdonald, said the prosecution was flailing, with paper-thin explanations for the Monaco payments.

“We say the evidence against him is hopelessly weak,” he said.

The first charge alleges that between April 1, 2002 and November 28, 2007 Mandaric paid 93,100 pounds into the account.

The second charge relates to 96,300 pounds allegedly paid between May 1, 2004 and November 28, 2007.

Tue 7 Feb, 2012
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