| MUNICH, March 12
MUNICH, March 12 A German judge signalled he
would rule on Thursday whether the president of Bayern Munich
soccer club had evaded 27 million euros ($37.44 million) in tax,
after a third day in court ended in less than two hours of
The trial of 62-year-old Uli Hoeness, admired by many for
turning Bayern into one of the world's top teams, has stunned
Newspapers splashed pictures of him celebrating Bayern's
advance to the Champions League quarter finals in the stadium on
Tuesday, just hours after appearing in the Munich court.
Judge Rupert Heindl told the court on Wednesday he would
hear no evidence the following day unless there were new
That would leave prosecutors and defence lawyers to sum up
before a verdict. The sentence - which could be up to 10 years
in jail - could come the same day.
The case hinges on whether Hoeness, who played for West
Germany when it won the World Cup in 1974, has been fully
cooperative and transparent in his confessions of tax evasion.
Legal experts say an amnesty for tax dodgers who turn
themselves in does not count if an investigation is already
underway or if the confession is incomplete.
Hoeness, who also owns a sausage factory, has argued he
turned himself in to tax authorities and told them about his
Swiss bank account and undeclared income in Jan. 2013.
On Monday, Hoeness told the court he had evaded 18.5 million
euros in tax, more than five times the amount he had been
But on Tuesday a tax inspector told the court documents
showed the real amount was 27.2 million euros and that her
office had waited for more than a year for Hoeness to turn in
Testimony from an IT expert on Wednesday, which focused on
when information was put on a data stick and how complete it
was, appeared to contradict some of the evidence given on
Tuesday and cast doubt on allegations Hoeness had held back
Defence lawyer Hanns Feigen, responding to comments from the
court spokeswoman that the defence had been surprised by the
higher numbers revealed on Tuesday, said the amended tax
returns, for a total of 27.2 million euros in accrued tax, also
covered the amount Hoeness owed from currency trades.
"We aren't stupid, I wanted to stress that here," Feigen
The case has led to thousands of Germans paying back taxes
to avoid prosecution. It has also raised pressure on Chancellor
Angela Merkel's ruling coalition to clamp down harder on tax
"The way it looks now, the gathering of evidence will come
to a close today (Wednesday) and no further applications will be
made," said court spokeswoman Andrea Titz.
"If that is indeed the case, the closing arguments will be
tomorrow morning and a verdict could be announced over the
course of tomorrow afternoon."
($1 = 0.7212 Euros)
(Writing by Madeline Chambers; Editing by Andrew Heavens)