Latest: Redknapp and Mandaric trial

AT COURT Harry Redknapp arrives at Southwark Crown Court
AT COURT Harry Redknapp arrives at Southwark Crown Court
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HARRY Redknapp told police Milan Mandaric had promised him the tax was paid on a $145,000 bonus for the sale of striker Peter Crouch.

Prosecutor John Black QC read parts of a police interview Redknapp gave under caution at Bishopsgate police station, in London, in June 2009.

In it Redknapp said how the first payment made to the Monaco bank account of $145,000 was a bonus for the profits of Crouch after he was paid five per cent when he was entitled to 10.

Redknapp said: ‘As far as I was concerned if it was a bonus the club should be paying the income tax.

‘It ain’t my job to take the money and then go and pay the income tax.’

Asked in the interview if he thought the club were liable to pay the tax Redknapp replied: ‘One million per cent.’

He added: ‘The information that I was given by the owner of the club was that the tax was paid.

‘I said to him many, many times “Milan, I don’t want to end up with a tax bill”.

‘This was said to me on many occasions.

‘As far as I was aware the tax was paid.

‘I was guaranteed by the man who owned the club that the tax was paid.’

Earlier in the day the jury at Southwark Crown Court heard how how Redknapp and Mandaric gave different accounts of what the money was for with then News of the World reporter Rob Beasley.

The jury has heard how Mandaric and Redknapp gave different accounts about what the first payment was for in interviews with the News of The World.

Mr Black read out transcripts of the recorded conversations.

Mandaric said the money was an investment for Redknapp while Redknapp said it was money the club owed him for the sale of Crouch.

On February 26, 2009, Mandaric was recorded as saying: ‘First of all it’s got nothing to do with bonuses.

‘I have never paid bonuses to offshore accounts to anyone.

‘All bonuses were paid through Portsmouth Football Club to their accounts in England.

‘I never paid any bonuses for promotion or any bonuses relating to the club to Harry Redknapp.’

In the newspaper interview Mandaric said Redknapp was give a £1m bonus for getting the club to the Premier League but that was paid through the club.

But just two days later Redknapp gave the same journalist a different account.

He said: ‘That money was paid to me as a bonus for selling a player.

‘Milan never had a bank account in England so he has paid it.

‘He said “the only way I can do it Harry is to pay it out of my American acccount into an account, I will have to open an account for you in Monaco”.

‘I said “I don’t want an account in Monaco”.’

He added: ‘I was due 10 per cent, they paid me five per cent. I said “Milan, you owe me 10 per cent not five per cent”.

‘He said “okay I will pay you the other five, don’t worry I will sort you out” and that’s what happened.

‘Everybody knows about it, there’s nothing crooked in it.’

When the reporter said it looked like a bung Redknapp replied: ‘Don’t say a bung. It’s nothing to do with a bung. It’s paid by the chairman.

‘How can it be a bung when the chairman of the football club pays?

‘Bung don’t come into it. It’s a payment, not a bung.’

When the reporter told Redknapp that Mandaric had said the money was not a bonus Redknapp said: ‘He doesn’t know what he’s talking about. It’s a bonus.’

Mr Black said: ‘There you have, two days apart, what Mr Mandaric had to say about the original payment and what Mr Redknapp had to say about the original payment.’

Earlier the court heard Redknapp ‘feigned ignorance’ during the Lord Stevens inquiry into football bungs and failed to declare his offshore bank account for six years.

He previously only mentioned the Monaco account as he was quizzed during the Premier League-led investigation, jurors were told.

John Black QC, prosecuting, said Redknapp ‘was feigning almost complete ignorance of its existence’ as the Quest inquiry under former Metropolitan Police Commissioner Lord Stevens took place in 2006.

Mr Black asked jurors to consider whether ‘is it the case that Mr Redknapp could be unaware of the bank account’ when he had flown out to Monaco just a couple of years earlier to set it up in the name of his dog, Rosie.

Despite two separate inquiries into his finances - the first launched in the wake of his receipt of a £300,000 ‘gift’ after Rio Ferdinand signed for Leeds United from West Ham - Redknapp only registered the account to tax inspectors after his arrest in 2008.