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Redknapp 'controlled bung account'

Harry Redknapp had sole responsibility for the Monaco bank account in the name of his dog, a court has heard.

The Tottenham Hotspur manager was the only signature on records for the account at the centre of £189,000 bung allegations, a bank chief said.

David Cusdin, vice-president of HSBC in Monaco between 2000 and 2005, also described co-defendant Milan Mandaric as "a perfect gentleman".

Giving evidence via videolink at Southwark Crown Court, Mr Cusdin said he was aware that Redknapp had flown to the principality to open an account.

"I was certainly aware of his visit - it was quite possible that I didn't open the account, it was one of my team - but I was certainly aware of the visit," Mr Cusdin told the court. "I don't have a recollection - but I could well have shaken his hand at the meeting."

Mandaric phoned HSBC Monaco in advance of a "rendezvous" between Redknapp and the bank, Mr Cusdin said. The bank chief added that Redknapp had chosen to call the account Rosie 47.

Mr Cusdin agreed with defence barrister Lord (Ken) Macdonald QC that Mandaric was a man he "trusted implicitly".

Lord Macdonald added: "You can't just walk off the street and open a bank account there."

Both Redknapp, 64, of Poole, Dorset, and Mandaric, from Oadby, Leicestershire, deny two counts of cheating the public revenue when Redknapp was manager of Portsmouth Football Club.

The first charge of cheating the public revenue alleges that between April 1, 2002 and November 28, 2007 Mandaric paid 145,000 US dollars (£93,100) into the account. The second charge for the same offence relates to a sum of 150,000 US dollars (£96,300) allegedly paid between May 1, 2004 and November 28, 2007.

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