Prosecutors say they won’t appeal Hoeness sentence
MUNICH (AP) German prosecutors said Monday they won’t appeal against Uli Hoeness’ 3 1/2-year sentence for tax evasion, clearing the way for the former Bayern Munich president to start his prison term.
Hoeness, one of German football’s most prominent figures, was convicted last Thursday of evading about 28.5 million euros ($39.6 million) in taxes via an undeclared Swiss bank account. He subsequently said he wouldn’t appeal and resigned as Bayern president.
Prosecutors also are entitled to appeal in Germany and could have sought a tougher sentence. At the trial, they called for a 5 1/2-year sentence; the legal maximum for tax evasion is 10 years.
But Munich prosecutors have decided not to appeal, the court said. Hoeness is now likely to go to prison in a few weeks.
Germany’s opposition Left Party criticized the prosecutors’ decision, saying it could prevent further details of Hoeness’ financial dealings from coming to light.
As evidence came out during last week’s trial, the amount of tax Hoeness is said to have dodged increased by the day from the 3.5 million euros he was initially charged with. That raised questions of where Hoeness, who also co-owns a sausage factory, got the millions he claimed to have used to speculate on the currency markets.
”Now many questions will remain forever unanswered,” Left Party chairman Bernd Riexinger told German daily Handelsblatt.
Bayern should put in place an independent panel to investigate whether there was any link between Hoeness’ money and the club, he said.
Hoeness has insisted the account was in his name only.