The following article was published in News of the World on Sunday 6th December 2009:-
Harry Redknapp has fired off a 16-page document to police and HM Revenue and Customs detailing why he should NOT be charged over unpaid tax.
The worried football boss has hired top criminal fraud lawyer Ian Burton to beef up his defence now the investigation is nearing completion.
Burton, senior partner of commercial fraud specialists, Burton Copeland, also represented ex-champion jockey Kieran Fallon whose race-fixing trial fell apart in 2007 due to insufficient evidence.
A source said:-
“Harry has brought out the big guns. Burton has produced this defence dossier as a way of saying put up or shut up to investigators.
Harry’s lawyers mean business and are keen to have Harry cleared and the matter sorted before Christmas.”
Redknapp was arrested in November 2007 as part of a football corruption inquiry. The Spurs boss was then drilled over tax issues at a City of London police station in October.
Redknapp will know whether he will be charged before the end of December. The probe into alleged corruption has drawn criticism for dragging on for over two years. Revenue and Customs continue to look into an offshore payment Milan Mandaric, the ex-Portsmouth chairman, made to Redknapp.
The pair strongly deny wrongdoing and have had their bail extended until the middle of December as officials investigate around £10,000 in potentially unpaid tax on an account set up in Monaco.
A source added:-
“Harry is feeling the pressure; he is on the ropes and has brought in Burton to come out fighting.”
Kevin Kinsella Jnr of KinsellaTax said the following:-
“I am particularly worried about the Redknapp case.
This has been going on for in excess of two years and Harry undoubtedly would have had a top investigation team acting on his behalf, or should have had, somebody like KinsellaTax or any of the big firms who specialise in this sort of work.
All that information should have been discussed, exchanged and thrashed out with HMRC and Harry’s team.
I am particularly concerned that Harry has found it necessary to instruct a top criminal, white-collared lawyer to put forward a defence as to why Harry should not be effectively nicked.
I think quite frankly that it is too late. All the work should have been done.
If Harry is expecting a statement from HMRC as to whether or not he will be arrested by the end of December, which is effectively about 3 weeks working time away, then I think he has left it too late in putting forward a so-called defence.
The other thing against Harry is his name.
He’s a high-profile, celebrity football manager and HMRC are particularly keen to prosecute high-profile personalities; be they football managers, pop singers or whoever purely because of the reaction they get.
The amount of cheques and goodness knows what else that is sent in is astounding. Literally thousands of pounds get sent in when publicity such as this is given to these celebrities.
For instance, the News of the World article will again cause the guys who have not made their returns in accordance with the law shiver, shake and probably send off cheques.