Man admits blackmail bid against ex-Bayern chief Hoeness

Man admits blackmail bid against ex-Bayern chief Hoeness
German football legend Uli Hoeness.

BERLIN - A man admitted at his trial in Germany Monday to having tried to blackmail jailed German football legend Uli Hoeness, former boss of Bayern Munich, for hundreds of thousands of euros.

The 51-year-old defendant confessed to having sent Hoeness, currently serving a jail term for tax fraud, a letter warning that his time in prison would be "no picnic" unless he paid up, a court spokeswoman said.

"The defendant made a full confession," the spokeswoman for the regional court in the southern city of Munich said, on the opening day of the court case.

Signed Mister X, the blackmail note was posted to Hoeness' private address in May before he went to prison, demanding 215,000 euros (S$350,680) and immediately handed to the police by Hoeness' wife.

The defendant had previously served prison sentences himself and claimed in the letter he had "real influence" over how Hoeness' time in jail could go.

"The defendant indicated as a motive for the act his own financial need," the spokeswoman said.

He also felt that Hoeness had come away more lightly in his sentence than he himself had earlier done.

He faces up to five years in prison in the case which is expected to deliver a verdict Tuesday.

Hoeness, 62, who spent four decades at Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich and also has a successful sausage business, began a three-and-a-half year jail term in June for having cheated the state out of 28.5 million euros.

At his four-day trial several months earlier, he admitted hiding his wealth in secret Swiss bank accounts while obsessively "gambling" on stock and currency markets.

Hoeness and his wife will not be called as witnesses in the blackmail trial due to the defendant having confessed, the spokeswoman said.


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