Redknapp: I will lie to NOTW reporter but not in here

In another heated exchange the Spurs manager attacks reporter's secret recording of him saying Mandaric payment was a 'bonus'

Southwark Crown Court

Harry Redknapp turned his fire on the now-defunct tabloid the News of the World yesterday when he said in court that he was justified in lying to one of the newspaper's reporters in order to prevent publication of a potentially damaging story.

Giving evidence for the second day, Redknapp, who faces two charges of tax evasion, said that he had told News of the World reporter Rob Beasley that a payment to a Monaco bank account had been a "bonus" in order to get him "off my back" two days before Tottenham were due to play the 2009 Carling Cup final against Manchester United.

Redknapp, 64, has maintained throughout his trial that the two payments to the "Rosie47" bank account in Monaco from his then chairman at Portsmouth Milan Mandaric was seed money for an "investment" the multi-millionaire businessman was establishing for him. The Crown submits that they were bonus payments paid offshore in order to avoid tax.

Redknapp was asked by prosecution counsel Mr John Black QC why he had told Beasley in an interview in February 2009 that the payments were a bonus. The recording of the interview by Beasley, who gave evidence earlier in the trial, had been obtained by City of London police via a production order.

Asked about his use of the word "bonus", Redknapp said: "I wanted to get Mr Beasley out the way. I had no need to tell him about investments or anything else. I didn't want him to know about the money in my account." Mr Black QC suggested he could have told the truth. Redknapp replied: "I could have done but he was going to write a story that next day on the morning of the cup final. All my players were going to look at the back page of the News of the World at breakfast. It would be embarrassing. He caught me unawares."

Redknapp said that Beasley was "lying" to him and had not told him the conversation was being recorded. "It [his explanation about the bonus] was not true, absolutely not. I don't have to tell Mr Beasley the truth. I have to tell the police the truth. Not Mr Beasley, he's a News of the World reporter."

In a heated exchange with the prosecution, Redknapp was accused by Mr Black QC of telling "a pack of lies".

Redknapp responded: "Do you think I would put my hand on the Holy Bible and tell lies? That is an insult Mr Black, I have told you no lies, I may have told Rob Beasley but he was a liar who worked for the News of the World. I put my hand on the Holy Bible and told you the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth so help me God."

There were further allegations from Mr Black QC that Redknapp had changed his story so that it fitted with the explanation from Mandaric that the two payments of £93,000 and £96,000 made between 2002 and 2004 into "Rosie47" were to establish an investment fund. Both men face two charges of cheating the public revenue.

Redknapp replied sarcastically: "Yeah, let's see if we can try and avoid paying £20,000-£30,000 of tax, it's unbelievable. I have paid £8m of income tax, Milan has paid £100m, so let's see if we can avoid paying £10,000. It is unbelievable. What am I even doing stood here, Mr Black? This was an investment from my chairman that made me $45,000."

It was an exacting cross-examination and when Redknapp finally returned to the dock at Southwark Crown Court, Mandaric gripped his shoulder and ruffled his hair. Yet there were also many light-hearted moments, especially when Redknapp returned to the subject of his late-lamented bulldog Rosie after whom the Monaco account was named.

Mr Black QC asked him why he had added the "47" – the year of his birth – to his account's name. "There was already a 'Rosie'," Redknapp explained. When Mr Black QC suggested it might have been named after someone else's dog, Redknapp replied: "It could have been someone else's wife." He added: "If she was half as nice as Rosie he would have a good wife."

He also recounted his failed attempts at share trading, including one investment that had also "wiped out" his son Jamie as well as his then-Portsmouth staff Kevin Bond, Jim Smith and "Kevin the kitman". Redknapp said: "I had never heard of shares until one day I was playing golf and this friend of mine told me to get into Firecrest, 'They will be really good'," he said. "Well, Firecrest went off like a firework, it was a damp squib."

The prosecution also mistakenly said in evidence that Redknapp's playing career had included a stint at Milan. "Unfortunately not," Redknapp said. "But I think I could manage them now that [Jose] Mourinho is gone [from Internazionale]." At one point the mobile phone of a Spurs supporter in the public gallery went off playing the tune to the club's "Glory, glory Tottenham Hotspur" anthem.

Watched by Bond and Tim Sherwood, the former Spurs and England player who is now on the staff at the club, Redknapp pointed out more than once that he had disclosed the account voluntarily to Quest investigators in 2006. "They interviewed quite a few Premier League managers and quite a few wouldn't give details. I did. This is how the account came to light."

Later, the former Arsenal goalkeeper and broadcaster Bob Wilson gave evidence on Redknapp's behalf, telling the jury how the Spurs manager had made numerous appearances and granted requests for Wilson's charity the Willow foundation, established in memory of his late daughter Anna.

The judge Anthony Leonard QC told the jury that the prosecution's closing speech will begin at 11.30am today. The defence closing speeches will follow on Monday and the summing up by Mr Leonard QC will be on Tuesday. Both men deny the charges. The case continues.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

How a costume drama became a Sunday night staple
Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers as he pushes Tories on housing

Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers

Labour leader pushes Tories on housing
Aviation history is littered with grand failures - from the the Bristol Brabazon to Concorde - but what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?

Aviation history is littered with grand failures

But what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?
Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of Soviet-style 'iron curtains' right across Europe

Fortress Europe?

Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of 'iron curtains'
Never mind what you're wearing, it's what you're reclining on

Never mind what you're wearing

It's what you're reclining on that matters
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence