Belfast Telegraph

Tottenham Hotspur manager Harry Redknapp in court over tax evasion

By Tom Morgan and Jennifer Cockerell

Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp appeared in the dock today to face trial for tax evasion.

Redknapp denies two counts of cheating the public revenue when he was manager of Portsmouth.



He appeared behind bullet-proof glass at Southwark Crown Court to face charges alongside former Pompey chairman Milan Mandaric.



A host of relatives, including Redknapp's former footballer son Jamie, looked on from the public gallery as proceedings began.



Jury selection will take place this morning before John Black QC opens the prosecution case against the pair.



The first charge alleges that, between April 1 2002 and November 28 2007, Mandaric paid £93,100 into a bank account held by Redknapp in Monaco, to avoid paying income tax and National Insurance.



The second charge for the same offence relates to a sum of £96,300 allegedly paid by Mandaric to the same account between May 1 2004 and November 28 2007.



Mandaric is currently chairman of Sheffield Wednesday, having previously worked at Leicester City.



Redknapp is represented by John Kelsey-Fry QC, while Lord Ken Macdonald QC is counsel for Mandaric.



The trial is due to last two weeks.

Judge Anthony Leonard told jurors to "leave prejudice or favour behind" as a panel of eight men and four women were sworn in.

"The defendants are two well-known personalities within the world of football," he said.

He said football "almost overwhelms other aspects in life" as he ordered jurors to focus solely on the charges.

"It can prejudice if you hold such allegiances or prejudices towards clubs that the defendants were or are presently involved with."

Jurors were also told to inform the judge if they had listened to an episode of TalkSPORT radio on November 17 last year.

The prosecution will open its case at 2pm, the judge added.

"This case will attract publicity," Mr Leonard added. "My advice is that you must not read or listen to these reports."

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