Court announces sentence: day of decision for Becker

Status: 04/29/2022 07:57 a.m

The sentence will be announced today against ex-tennis professional Becker after the guilty verdict for delaying insolvency. He faces a prison sentence of up to seven years – which could still be implemented today.

By Gabi Biesinger, ARD Studio London

With the surprising Wimbledon victory in 1985, Boris Becker won the hearts of tennis fans all over the world. 37 years later, a judge just 15 kilometers from Center Court in Wimbledon will decide today whether the ex-tennis professional should go to prison.

Three weeks ago, a jury found Becker guilty on four out of the original 24 charges of delaying bankruptcy. He is said to have concealed part of his fortune after being declared bankrupt by a London court in 2017.

Specifically, it is about six-figure transfers to his ex-wives, the property of his parents’ house in Leimen, where his mother Elvira lives, which also has a mortgage, and shareholdings. Becker was acquitted on other points, including the trophies of the six-time Grand Slam winner.

Becker faces up to seven years in prison

The sentence that Boris Becker is expecting today could range from a fine to seven years in prison, legal expert Shiv Haria Shah explained in an interview with the ARD Studio London.

A combination of fine and imprisonment is also possible. As for sentencing, Judge Deborah Taylor needs to find an appropriate overall judgment for the four named offenses.

“A four-count guilty verdict does not automatically mean that the sentence has to be four times as severe as a one-count conviction,” said Haria Shah.

Judge is considered strict

As far as the process of judgment is concerned, certain points need to be considered. “The judge will take into account the condition of the defendant and how serious the damage was caused by his behavior,” said the legal expert. “The defense will have put forward arguments for mitigating circumstances, and the public prosecutor’s office will also make suggestions as to the sentence. Ultimately, however, the decision rests with the judge alone.”

Judge Taylor, who is also the presiding judge in the case against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, is considered to be rather strict. During the court hearing, she repeatedly pointed out that Becker had already been sentenced to probation and a fine in court proceedings for tax evasion in Munich in 2002, and thus narrowly avoided jail time.

Becker could go to jail today

In England, too, there is the possibility of suspending prison sentences of up to two years on probation. According to legal expert Haria Shah, should the judge decide on a prison sentence without parole, Boris Becker would be taken straight to prison today – regardless of the appeals that he can still lodge.

Two things Becker and his lawyers can then challenge: the guilty verdict itself, because Becker believes he is innocent, and the sentence. But for that they would have to obtain official approval first.

All of this takes time, and the prospects of being able to turn over a judgment that refers to legal or procedural errors seem rather slim. A real fateful day for Boris Becker.

Does Boris Becker have to go to prison?

Gabi Biesinger, ARD London, April 29, 2022 7:06 a.m

source site