Harry Redknapp Had Complete Control Of Secret Monaco Bank Account
Harry Redknapp had sole responsibility for the Monaco bank account in the name of his dog, a court has been told. The Tottenham Hotspur manager was the only signature on records for the account at the centre of £189,000 bung allegations, a bank chief said. David Cusdin, vice-president of HSBC in Monaco between 2000 and 2005, also described co-defendant Milan Mandaric as "a perfect gentleman". Giving evidence via videolink at Southwark Crown Court, Mr Cusdin said he was aware that Redknapp had flown to the principality to open an account, the Press Association reported. "I was certainly aware of his visit - it was quite possible that I didn't open the account, it was one of my team - but I was certainly aware of the visit," Mr Cusdin told the court. "I don't have a recollection but I could well have shaken his hand at the meeting." Both Redknapp, 64, of Poole, Dorset, and Mandaric, from Oadby, Leicestershire, deny two counts of cheating the public revenue when Redknapp was manager of Portsmouth Football Club. The first charge of cheating the public revenue alleges that between 1 April 2002 and 28 November 2007 Mandaric paid US$145,000 (£93,100) into the account. The second charge for the same offence relates to a sum of US$150,000 (£96,300) allegedly paid between 1 May 2004 and 28 November 2007. Mr Cusdin had met Mandaric on several occasions, the court heard, and had known Mandaric since the football chairman had sold club Nice in France. "We had regular contact as clients and account officers would," he said, adding that "Mr Mandaric, is a perfect gentleman... he would always ring prior to the visit". Redknapp opened a "non-advisory account" with HSBC in Monaco in 2002, the court heard. when asked by John Black QC, for the prosecution, if it was necessary for the client to be present whent he account was opened, Mr Cusdin replied: "Normally, yes. The client would have to be present." The banker added that "in this case, it is a single person on the account... one signature on the account." Mr Cusdin, who was responsible "for private English-speaking clientele" during his time with the bank in Monaco and managed a team dealing with up to 700 clients, said: "I would have been part of the decision process, yes," in accepting Redknapp as an account-holder. Mr Cusdin said Mandaric was also a client at that time and phoned HSBC Monaco in advance of a "rendezvous" between Redknapp and the bank. The bank chief added that Redknapp had chosen to call the account Rosie 47. Mr Cusdin agreed with defence barrister Lord (Ken) Macdonald QC that Mandaric was a man he "trusted implicitly". Lord Macdonald added: "You can't just walk off the street and open a bank account there."