English Premiership

Redknapp: I always paid taxes

2012-02-01 19:02
Harry Redknapp (File)
London - Tottenham Hotspur manager Harry Redknapp insisted he had always paid his taxes on Wednesday as he took to the witness stand in his tax evasion court case in London.

The Spurs coach, who denies cheating the public revenue by failing to declare payments made into a Monaco bank account, told Southwark Crown Court he had hired the best accountants to manage his financial affairs.

"I have always paid my taxes. I've always gone to the best available people," Redknapp said. "I have always paid too much tax rather than not enough."

Redknapp also said he had enjoyed a close relationship with co-defendant Milan Mandaric, who is accused of funnelling cash into Rednapp's overseas accounts when the two men ran Portsmouth.

"There was no-one in the world I would rather be with," Redknapp said. "We had our ups and downs, I was a bit volatile perhaps. Even now I love his company."

The court broke into laughter as defence barrister John Kelsey-Fry said Redknapp's success in football was "much to the displeasure" of Mandaric's defence counsel Lord Ken Macdonald.

"Well he's an Arsenal supporter isn't he?" Redknapp replied.

Mandaric, 73, now in charge of Sheffield Wednesday in English football's third tier, and Redknapp, 64, both deny charges of cheating the public revenue.

The charges centre on $295 000 of alleged 'bungs' paid by Mandaric into an account set up by Redknapp.

Earlier on Wednesday, Mandaric dismissed suggestions by prosecutors that Redknapp was paid money into his bank account because of "greed".

Prosecutor John Black asked Mandaric if the alleged tax dodge was "all about Mr Redknapp and he was greedy and wanted more money".

"That's the truth isn't it?" Black asked Mandaric.

Mandaric replied: "Absolutely not true."

Mandaric told jurors Redknapp "was paid millions of pounds. He was paid fairly... There was no issue whatsoever."

Mandaric said the money deposited in Redknapp's account in Monaco "was money that I was going to develop his portfolio".

"We can go over and over," Mandaric told the prosecutor under cross-examination. "I respect your job and everything but I cannot deviate from the truth. Simple as that."

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