Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

BUSINESS DAILY

Argentina set for deeper recession after default

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Dr Matshidiso Moeti, Former WHO Deputy Regional Director for Africa

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Towards a 'Third Intifada'?

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Germany and Russia discuss secret Ukraine deal

Read more

DEBATE

Iraq's Christians: Nowhere to Run? (part 2)

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

France commemorates a hero of the left

Read more

DEBATE

Iraq's Christians: Nowhere to Run?

Read more

WEB NEWS

Fake Twitter accounts spread chinese propaganda

Read more

FOCUS

What solutions for California's overcrowded prisons?

Read more

  • Kiev declares 24-hour ceasefire to aid MH17 probe

    Read more

  • Israel calls up 16,000 more reservist as Gaza death toll soars

    Read more

  • Video: Inside Hamas ‘terror’ tunnels in Gaza

    Read more

  • Sierra Leone declares state of emergency over Ebola outbreak

    Read more

  • Scores feared dead in India landslide

    Read more

  • Russia ordered to pay further EUR1.9bn to Yukos shareholders

    Read more

  • Iraq's Christians: Nowhere to Run?

    Read more

  • Russia defiant as US, EU unveil 'phase three' sanctions

    Read more

  • US House votes to sue Obama for over-reaching his powers

    Read more

  • Argentina fails to reach deal with creditors

    Read more

  • Women should not laugh in public, Turkey's deputy PM says

    Read more

  • Suspect in Jewish Museum attack charged with 'terrorist' murder

    Read more

  • US rebounds to 4% growth in second quarter

    Read more

  • Rats on the rampage at Louvre museum gardens

    Read more

Sport

Hoeness quits Bayern Munich, will not appeal prison term

© AFP

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2014-03-14

One day after Uli Hoeness, president of Bundesliga’s Bayern Munich, was handed three and a half years in prison for tax evasion, he announced that he is resigning from the football club and will not appeal his sentence.

"After discussions with my family I have decided to accept the ruling of the Munich court on my tax affairs. This befits my understanding of decency, dignity and personal responsibility. Tax evasion was the biggest mistake of my life," he wrote in a statement published on the club's website.

"Bayern Munich is my life's work and will also remain so," he said, adding that he wanted to spare the club any damage.

Judge Rupert Heindl sentenced Hoeness at a court in Munich on Thursday after finding him guilty of seven counts of tax evasion.

Hoeness, 62, had admitted to avoiding €27.2 million ($37.6 million) in taxes by hiding funds in Swiss bank accounts while obsessively "gambling" on stocks and currencies for years.

His defence lawyers argued that he should escape punishment or receive a suspended term because he turned himself in to authorities in January of last year.

But the judge ruled that Hoeness's voluntary disclosure was incomplete and thus did not meet the requirements for an amnesty under German tax laws designed to encourage tax evaders to come clean.

"The voluntary disclosure is not valid with the documents that were presented alone," the judge said.

When he entered the dock on Monday, Hoeness confessed to large-scale tax fraud worth €18.5 million, almost five times more than prosecutors had calculated.

His pledge of full disclosure was, however, contradicted the next day by a tax officer who testified that Hoeness had cheated the state out of up to €27.2 million, almost €9 million more than he admitted.

Front-page news

Hoeness’ decision to step down as club president and chairman of its supervisory board came as no surprise.

The German public has taken a huge interest in the case, with newspapers giving it front-page treatment and people lining up outside the courtroom from early morning on Thursday to get a seat in the visitors' gallery ahead of the verdict.

Hoeness first turned himself in and paid €10 million in back taxes on January 17 of last year, when tax investigators – and journalists – were already pursuing his case.

Police raided his lakeside villa and briefly arrested him in March that year before releasing him on €5 million bail.

While still a football player, Hoeness helped West Germany win the 1974 World Cup.

(FRANCE 24 with AFP, REUTERS)

Date created : 2014-03-14

  • GERMANY

    Bayern Munich chief Hoeness sentenced for tax evasion

    Read more

COMMENT(S)