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German football boss in court over tax evasion

The president of Germany’s football champions, Bayern Munich, went on trial on Monday charged with evading 3.5 million euros (4.9 million dollars) in tax.

The case has sent shock waves across both the country’s sporting and political worlds.

State prosecutors in Munich have charged Uli Hoeness with evading taxes on income of more than 33 million euros, which was partly gained through market trading.

He has also been accused of wrongly declaring losses totalling 5.5 million euros.

If convicted Hoeness, 62, who was part of the West German soccer that won the World Cup in 1974, could face a jail sentence.

A year ago, he was arrested but later released on five million euros’ bail.

A key part of the case will focus on Hoeness’ decision in January 2013 to tell the tax authorities about holding a Swiss bank account and that he had undeclared income.

Hoeness faced widespread criticism following his admission, including from Chancellor Angela Merkel, who expressed her “disappointment” with his actions.

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