Jurors told to 'keep eye on ball' in Redknapp deliberation
Published 04/02/2012 | 05:00
Jurors hearing Harry Redknapp's tax evasion trial were warned yesterday to "keep their eyes on the ball" when they considered their verdicts.
The prosecution alleged that the Tottenham Hotspur manager was "driven with his back to the wall to lie" when he claimed he gave a sports journalist false information about why over £90,000 (€110,000) was paid into his Monaco bank account.
Mr Redknapp (64), told London's Southwark Crown Court this week that the money was given to him in 2002 by Milan Mandaric (73), his former boss at Portsmouth Football Club, as an investment that had nothing to do with his employment.
But prosecutor John Black QC urged the jury in a closing speech to conclude that the sum was in fact a bonus paid to Mr Redknapp arising from Portsmouth's profits on the sale of striker Peter Crouch to Aston Villa.
He said tax was "in the nature of the game" in the football industry and Mr Redknapp knew he had to pay it on his income, including any bonuses.
Mr Black told the jury: "You may have little difficulty in concluding that if it was a bonus, no tax was deducted, no tax was paid -- and indeed no tax has ever been paid in relation to that bonus as we stand here in 2012."
Mr Redknapp, wearing a dark suit with a black jumper, sat in the dock listening to Mr Black's speech, at different times yawning, shaking his head at the prosecutor's claims, folding his arms, looking around, blowing out his cheeks and stroking his chin.