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Bayern Munich boss hit with tax evasion charge

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Bayern Munich boss hit with tax evasion charge
Photo: DPA
16:29 CEST+02:00
Prosecutors charged Bayern Munich's powerful president Uli Hoeneß with tax evasion Tuesday, a court said, after a months-long high-profile probe that has rocked German sport and politics.

The superior regional court in Munich said in a statement that it must now decide whether the case brought by the local prosecutor's office will go to trial.

"Due to the volume of the investigation files as well as the fact that a defence request to delay answering to the charges for one month was granted, a decision of the court on starting a trial is not to be expected before the end of September 2013," court spokeswoman Andrea Titz said in the statement.

She said the court would not provide further details on the proceedings before it takes its decision.

Hoeneß, 61, a giant of the European sports world, was arrested on March 20, then released on bail for €5 million , as part of an investigation into unpaid taxes on a Swiss account in his name.

The embattled executive apologised for the scandal in May and offered to temporarily stand down as Bayern president.

But the team's board decided he should stay in office, saying it would continue to "monitor" the investigation into the former midfielder who won the 1974 World Cup with West Germany.

The revelations have sparked huge controversy in an election year as opponents of Chancellor Angela Merkel charge she has been weak on the issue of tax evasion by wealthy Germans.

Merkel herself has admitted she was "disappointed" in Hoeneß' alleged conduct.

Bayern have had a remarkably successful streak, becoming the first German team last season to win the hat trick of European, league and cup titles.

AFP/jcw

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