For the former German tennis champion, London is now all about his freedom. The court must clarify whether the assets were not properly declared.
When Boris Becker arrived at London’s Southwark Crown Court, he and his partner Lilian de Carvalho Montero were first in a long line with the press in front of the building not far from the Thames. When this newspaper asked him about the fact that he should line up with the others, he nodded with a friendly smile, but said nothing more.
But in the coming weeks, the 54-year-old will want to comment on the things he is accused of, he announced in the run-up to the trial. The tennis star reportedly failed to properly declare assets during bankruptcy proceedings. Baker rejects these allegations. If convicted, Baker faces up to seven years in prison.
Boris Becker appears in court in a dark blue suit and black sneakers
At 10:30 a.m. Monday, preparations for Baker’s trial began in the brick building’s “Third Courtroom,” where only fraud cases are heard. Becker appears in a dark blue suit with black sneakers and sits in a glass pane of the modest hall with his interpreter.
A paper previously handed to attendees entitled “The Queen vs. Boris Franz Becker” summarizes the charges against the former professional tennis player in seven pages. The list of things he was said to have embezzled as part of his bankruptcy proceedings, which began in 2017, is long.
Mark Ford, insolvency administrator, faced inconsistencies
These include property in his hometown of Lehman, which the court erroneously named “Lehman” in the documents, various properties and a total of nine awards, including his Davis Cup medals from 1988 and 1989 and his Olympic gold medal from 1992.
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Mark Ford, the responsible insolvency administrator at the time, drew attention to the inconsistencies in the insolvency proceedings. He is considered one of the most important witnesses in the case and should testify within the week, prosecutor Rebecca Chalkley explained yesterday. Problem: He was sick with Covid. However, the defense called for the timetable to be adhered to because it was not clear how long it would take before Ford appeared in court. Indeed, several British journalists appeared yesterday for the trial, which is scheduled to last for three weeks.
Interest in Boris Becker is also high in England
In Great Britain, the German is especially known for his career in tennis and his work as a commentator for a television station BBC Famous. Thus, interest in his person is also great in the United Kingdom, and so it was necessary to ensure that the members of the jury deal with the case impartially.
Finally, at 12:30 p.m., the jury was sworn in. In it, Judge Deborah Taylor, who was dressed in a red and black robe, forcefully stressed that their verdict should be based only on what is said in court, despite the fact that Boris Becker is a “famous” act. Deborah Taylor is tough.
Hard-line judge Deborah Taylor has a say in Baker’s trial
It was she who sentenced WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange to 50 weeks in prison for breaching bail conditions. Five years earlier, I also got the ceremonial room at Southwark Crown Court, where judges were outfitted with their robes, and made accessible to women. She said at the time that the regulation was simply unfair. After all, there are more tables and seats in the men’s lounge.
How will the fact that Judge Taylor have her say in Boris Becker’s trial end when she finally sets the sentence based on a jury’s decision? One of the women who stood by Becker the whole time yesterday was his partner, Lilian de Carvalho Monteiro. The 33-year-old accompanied him on the way to Southwark Crown Court and sat in the courtroom from the start of the trial.