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Harry Redknapp trial: Milan Mandaric tells how Apple's Steve Jobs helped make him rich

THE FOOTBALL chairman accused of sending bungs to Harry Redknapp told a court today how Apple co-founder Steve Jobs helped make him rich.

Milan Mandaric told jurors he became a billionaire in computing after a poverty-stricken childhood.

The Croatia-born Serb said Jobs handed him one of his first contracts after he emigrated to the US and opened factories manufacturing circuit boards.

Mandaric, 73, told Southwark Crown Court he moved with his family to California after a troubled upbringing.

"It was a very difficult time in those days," he told jurors.

"For four years we were in mountains hiding from enemies while my father was taken to a concentration camp.

"When we returned, our village, it was destroyed. It was difficult days, difficult for everyone living in that part of the world."

Mandaric made a deal with Apple computing pioneer Jobs as his company - called Lika after his hometown - rapidly expanded during the 1970s.

As he took to the stand, Mandaric said: "I was quite successful.

"Somebody asks me the reason for my success - I say, 'I was in the right place at the right time'.

"Silicon Valley was just getting started and I was a part of that."

After building seven factories in Los Angeles, he sold the company to Tandy in 1980.

"It was quite a good deal for me and other shareholders," Mandaric said. "It put quite a smile on my face."

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