HARRY REDKNAPP and former Portsmouth FC chairman Milan Mandaric were likened to Hollywood’s ‘odd couple’ by Mandaric’s defence barrister.
In closing statements, Lord MacDonald QC compared the pair to Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau’s characters in the Odd Couple movie, saying the “deep bond” between them led Mandaric to pay Redknapp investment money as a gift.
Redknapp and Mandaric are accused of two counts of cheating the public revenue when Redknapp was manager of Portsmouth. It is alleged that the pair fraudulently concealed payments totalling $295,000 (£188,000) from HM Revenue & Customs by paying the money into a Monaco bank account. They deny the charges.
“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,” MacDonald said.
In summing up the prosecution said that Redknapp had “condemned himself” in a taped conversation with a former News of the World journalist in which he said the money was paid as “a bonus for selling Crouch”.
Redknapp said he lied to Rob Beasley about the source of payments into his account to prevent a negative story appearing ahead of the League Cup final.
“I have to tell police the truth, not Mr Beasley, he’s a News of the World reporter,” Redknapp said.
Closing the defence, Redknapp’s barrister John Kelsey-Fry ridiculed the prosecution case saying it was built on ‘despicable’ evidence’ and that ‘there is an inherent absurdity that shrieks out at you.’
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