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Redknapp in court at start of tax evasion trial

Updated: January 23, 2012, 07:16

Tottenham Hotspur manager Harry Redknapp talks to an unseen coach prior to their English Premier League soccer match against Manchester City at The Etihad Stadium, Manchester, England, Sunday Jan. 22, 2012. (AP Photo/Tim Hales)

LONDON(AP) Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp went on trial Monday on charges of evading taxes during his time in charge of Portsmouth.

The 64-year-old Redknapp was in the dock alongside former Portsmouth chairman Milan Mandaric at Southwark Crown Court. The pair are accused of concealing payments of $295,000 from Britain's tax authority between 2002 and 2007.

With Tottenham executives and Redknapp's son Jamie, a former Liverpool and Spurs player, watching in court, a jury of eight men and four women was sworn in.

"It can prejudice if you hold such allegiances or prejudices towards clubs that the defendants were or are presently involved with,'' judge Anthony Leonard told the jurors.

Both Redknapp and Mandaric, who is now chairman at third-tier club Sheffield Wednesday, deny the charges.

The prosecution was scheduled to open its case on Monday afternoon.

The trial is expected to last two weeks.

The trial comes as Redknapp's side lies third in the Premier League, the highest place for a club with an English manager. He is considered a leading choice to replace Fabio Capello as England coach after this year's European Championship.

Redknapp managed south coast club Portsmouth between 2002 and 2004, and returned to Fratton Park in 2005 after a brief spell at its archrival Southampton before moving to Tottenham in 2008.

The first charge alleges that between April 1, 2002, and Nov. 28, 2007, Mandaric paid $145,000 into a bank account held by Redknapp in Monaco, to avoid paying income tax and national insurance.

The second charge of cheating the public revenue relates to a sum of $150,000 allegedly paid by Mandaric to the same account between May 1, 2004, and Nov. 28, 2007.

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