Jurors' deliberations to continue in Redknapp trial
Tottenham manager back in court for 13th day as jury yet to return a verdict in tax case
The Tottenham Hotspur manager Harry Redknapp's trial for tax evasion will go into a 13th day today, after the jury failed to reach a verdict following three hours and 50 minutes of deliberations yesterday.
The 12 jurors will return this morning at 10am, having spent last night in a hotel near Southwark Crown Court, and will be sent away by the judge, Anthony Leonard, to continue their considerations. Redknapp and his co-defendant, Milan Mandaric, were summoned back to courtroom one yesterday at 4.15pm, to be told by Mr Leonard that the jury had not yet returned a verdict.
The courtroom was at its fullest with media since the trial began. Earlier, the judge had given his summing-up of the case, telling the jury that they must put aside any feelings they might have about the Tottenham manager or Mandaric, his former chairman at Portsmouth, as public figures.
Mr Leonard said that football was "an emotive subject". He said it had the power to "stir in an individual deep passion" but it could also provoke "resentment for a sport that some might say has become so commercial it may have lost its way". He added: "Whatever your own feelings for football: ignore them. This case is not about football, it is about a tax case around football.
"You [the jury] will try them [the defendants] on the evidence presented here in court and the arguments presented to you on the same precepts of law that would be applied to any individuals in a criminal case."
The judge said that the jury should ignore the profile Redknapp and Mandaric enjoyed in British public life.
"There are no special rules you will attach to them as a result," he said. He also said that the jury might feel "sympathy" for the long wait the pair had for their two charges of cheating the public revenue. "It is the evidence rather than sympathy on which the decision must be made."
Redknapp and Mandaric were described by Mr Leonard as men of "good character" which, he told the jury, meant that they should attach more weight to their evidence. He did remind them every person is considered of good character until they commit their first criminal act.
The jury can reach a verdict in which Mandaric is found guilty but Redknapp is acquitted. However, they cannot arrive at a verdict in which Mandaric is acquitted and Redknapp is found guilty. The charges against the two men relate to payments totalling £189,000 by Mandaric into Redknapp's "Rosie47" Monaco bank account between 2002 and 2004 that the crown submits were off-the-record bonuses paid offshore to evade tax.
The judge also instructed the jury to put to one side whatever feelings they may have about the now-defunct tabloid the News of the World and the reporter Rob Beasley, whose taped interview with Redknapp in February 2009 forms the centrepiece of the prosecution's case.
He said that the jury might feel that both the former newspaper and its reporter had come in for "justifiable criticism". However, on the media, the judge said there was already "an inquiry well equipped to resolve these issues".
Both men deny the charges.
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