Redknapp and Mandaric 'are odd couple'

 


Harry
Redknapp
 and the chairman accused of sending him bungs were an "odd couple" like the old Hollywood film, a court has heard.

The Tottenham Hotspur boss and Milan Mandaric were compared to Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau as defence barrister Lord Macdonald attacked the Crown's case.

The prosecution are "really flailing" with "paper thin" explanations for the £189,000 payments into a Monaco account, the barrister said.

Delivering his closing speech for Mandaric, Lord Macdonald highlighted his client's multi-billion pound business dealings, saying: "Steve Jobs doesn't work with fools."

"It's really desperate stuff" to suggest Mandaric might have intended the payments as a reward for Portsmouth beating Manchester United, jurors heard.

It also "simply doesn't make sense" that the first payment was a bonus for the £3 million profit made over the sale of Peter Crouch from Portsmouth to Aston Villa, Lord Macdonald added.

"We say the evidence against him is hopelessly weak," he said.

The barrister added "there's nothing even slightly sinister" about the actions.

"In Milan Mandaric's mind this was not money for Crouch, this was Milan Mandaric coming through on money he had promised months before - for a portfolio," the barrister said.

As a "non-dom", it made no sense for Mandaric to pay the money into a UK account, jurors at Southwark Crown Court heard.

Lord Macdonald said the pair had an "emotional relationship, at times a tempestuous relationship, at times a love-hate relationship".

They are an "odd couple, a bit like the old film, he added.

"An odd couple, different men, different backgrounds... but I would suggest a deep affection," Lord Macdonald said.

"Mr Mandaric had no fear describing his emotions towards Mr Redknapp , he said he loves them."

Both Redknapp , 64, of Poole, Dorset, and Mandaric, from Oadby, Leicestershire, deny two counts of cheating the public revenue when Redknapp  was manager of Portsmouth Football Club.

The first charge of cheating the public revenue alleges that between April 1, 2002 and November 28, 2007 Mandaric paid 145,000 US dollars (£93,100) into the account.

The second charge for the same offence relates to a sum of 150,000 US dollars (£96,300) allegedly paid between May 1, 2004 and November 28, 2007.

PA

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