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Redknapp Trial

Harry Redknapp victimised because of Cockney accent, court hears

The trial of Harry Redknapp and Milan Mandaric for allegedly cheating the public revenue continued in London today.

HARRY REDKNAPP’S ATTEMPTS to explain the presence of $295,000 in a Monaco bank account were “contradictory, inconsistent and lack credibility”, prosecutors told Southwark Crown Court today.

John Black QC opened the third day of Redknapp’s trial for allegedly cheating the public revenue by highlighting a number of differences between the Tottenham manager’s version of events and that of his co-defendant, former Portsmouth chairman Milan Mandaric.

The two are accused of concealing two transfer payments in an offshore account to avoid paying taxes to Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs. Both men deny the charges.

The court also heard of how Redknapp had laughed off claims that he was deliberately dodging taxes when questioned by News of the World journalist Rob Beasley.

A taped interview between Redknapp and Beasley, recorded in 2009, was played for the jury.

“Do me a favour. I tried to nick £30,000 to save on income tax?” Redknapp said (see BBC). ”Do I need that Rob?”

Southwark Crown Court also heard details of Redknapp’s interviews with the Stevens Inquiry into Premier League bungs, conducted with Quest Ltd in 2006.

Under cross-examination from Redknapp’s lawyer John Kelsey-Fry QC,  Quest’s managing director Nigel Layton told the court that Redknapp had informed investigators of his Monaco bank account.

“Voluntary disclosure was forthcoming,” Layton said.

The defence also read transcripts of a conversation between Redknapp and Layton in November 2006, in which Redknapp is alleged to have claimed he was victimised because of his Cockney accent.

“A friend said to me, he said ‘Harry, I can’t believe it’s always you, I have dealt with you enough times. Your problem is your name, Harry, and you have got a Cockney accent’”.

The trial continues.

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