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Wednesday, May 25, 2022

London trial: Boris Becker faces seven years in prison

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Probably the most famous photo of Boris Becker’s life, which is not short on famous photos, was taken in the summer of 1985. At the time, Boris Becker was a largely unknown 17-year-old tennis player from the largely Leimen unknown, he surprisingly won the greatest of all tennis tournaments, the Grand Slam Tournament in the London borough of Wimbledon. When the 18-inch-high gold-plated trophy was handed to him, he put it on his head and held it by the handles, the photographers pulled the trigger, the trophy fit him. Like all Wimbledon winners, he was given a replica of the cup approximately 13 inches tall, and more were added in subsequent years, including other cups, medals and other trophies.

That moment, that summer of 1985, rewrote the script of Boris Becker’s life. This now means the whereabouts of the 37-year-old trophy will be an issue from Monday a few miles inland, in central London, at Southwark Crown Court.

24 counts, three week trial

He was “glad that the process is finally starting and the court is ruling,” Becker said recently. image-Newspaper. “The last five years have been damn long, the hardest of my life.” 24 counts will be heard from Monday, the trial is scheduled for three weeks.

The central question is whether Becker hid assets after bankruptcy proceedings began against him in 2017. Specifically, it is said that it is an apartment in Chelsea and two properties in Germany, just over two million euros, company shares, bank accounts in Belgium and Guernsey – and also some of the trophies and medals he won. The list reads like browsing German tennis history: the 1992 Olympic gold medal in doubles with Michael Stich, the 1989 Davis Cup, the trophies for the Australian Open winner in 1991 and 1996, among others.

Insolvency proceedings against Boris Becker: In the summer of 2019, Becker's bankruptcy administrator had several trophies and personal belongings of the former top athlete auctioned off, including worn tennis socks.  But some trophies could not be found for auction.

In the summer of 2019, Becker’s bankruptcy trustee had several trophies and personal belongings of the former top athlete up for auction, including worn tennis socks. But some trophies could not be found for auction.

(Photo: AFP)

Becker, as he said, “will personally try to refute the allegations on each of the 24 counts.” His lawyer is British Jonathan Laidlaw, 64, a lawyer with fair experience in public interest cases. Laidlaw holds the title of ‘Queen’s Counsel’, an elite rank for lawyers in the UK, which is not only meant to indicate his outstanding experience and ability, but also means that he can charge a significantly higher fee. He believes “in English jurisdiction,” Becker said, so he was tense, but “don’t panic.”

Bankruptcy proceedings against Boris Becker: Boris Becker has been working as a Wimbledon commentator for the BBC for 20 years.  Here is a photo from last year's tournament.

Boris Becker has been a Wimbledon commentator for the BBC for 20 years. Here is a photo from last year’s tournament.

(Photo: Ashley Western/imago images/Colorsport)

Becker has lived in London for many years and has been working as a pundit and commentator for the BBC since 2002. Becker has made himself at home in Wimbledon, his villa with pool and planetarium in London’s postcode SW19 not far from tennis court. A few years ago, in an interview with the Times he said that he was very lucky to have England as his home, although “people in Germany find it difficult to accept that”. At home he speaks English with his family, Becker said at the time.

In court, however, he will have an interpreter to help “for a word or two,” as attorney Laidlaw said at a hearing a week ago. After all, the stakes are high: In the worst case scenario, Becker faces up to seven years in prison.


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