Boris Becker’s trial began in London on Monday. Some details of the indictment were made public. Baker himself surprised some of those present.
Looking serious, Boris Becker joined the waiting list at Southwark Crown Court. The former tennis star kept his eyes on the ground as he waited for a security check in front of a central London court accompanied by his partner. Then the trial of the 54-year-old, with a lot at stake, began.
A total of 24 charges will be verified under Judge Deborah Taylor in the next three weeks – then it can be determined whether Baker can continue his former lifestyle flawlessly.
Boris Becker appears with his partner Lilian de Carvalho Monteiro. (Source: Peter Nichols/Reuters)
In the worst case, he faces up to seven years in prison for allegations of non-cooperation in insolvency proceedings. A citizen of Yemen rejects these allegations.
Translator and serious allegations
Baker caused some eyebrows by hiring an interpreter. The tennis legend has lived in London for many years and is also a BBC expert. Judge Taylor justified the decision by saying he might need help with “technical vocabulary as well as legal terminology.”
The focus of the first day of the trial was Attorney General Rebecca Chalkley. Counsel filed the indictment and said, among other things: “The Attorney General assumes that Mr. Baker acted dishonestly with respect to a number of assets, which he concealed in various ways from the persons responsible for identifying the assets or which were not made available.”
What Chalkley means by that: Baker is said to have “hid” real estate and prizes from investigators, for example. Among other things, it concerns the Wimbledon awards in 1985 and 1989 and the Olympic gold medal he received from 1992.
Boris Becker (right) in Barcelona in 1992 alongside Michael Stich. (Source: Laci Perenyi / imago photos)
It won’t be the first punishment
In 2002, a German court sentenced Becker to a suspended two-year prison term and a fine of approximately 1.7 million euros for tax evasion. The Spanish and Swiss judiciary also targeted him at times. He is now on trial in London.
Before the trial began, Baker said, “The presumption of innocence must also apply to me. Of course I will accept every verdict, but I hope the judge and the twelve jurors will issue a just verdict.”