“I’m not panicking”
Trial against Boris Becker opened
03/21/2022, 2:57 p.m
In the worst case, Boris Becker faces seven years in prison. But the former Wimbledon winner is confident that the process that has now been opened against him in the context of his bankruptcy in London will end lightly. Meanwhile, his ex Lilly has an “uneasy feeling”.
The criminal case against former tennis star Boris Becker has begun in London. The 54-year-old has to answer for various allegations in connection with his bankruptcy proceedings.
The three-time Wimbledon winner appeared in person at the start of the trial at Southwark Crown Court. He was accompanied by his partner, who held his hand as he entered the courthouse.
At the beginning of the trial, the jury was first sworn in. It was unclear whether the trial should be adjourned because a witness had Covid disease. He is bankruptcy trustee Mark Ford, the key witness for the prosecution. He suffers from headaches, feels light-headed and tired, the prosecutor said. The defense argued that the schedule should be maintained, as it was not clear when Ford could finally appear in court. The court therefore withdrew after a few minutes to deliberate.
While the jury was being sworn in, Becker stood upright in a glass case and watched the jury carefully. He then listened to the reading of the indictment.
The more than 20 charges are about, among other things, that Becker is said to have tried to withdraw money and valuables, such as trophies, as well as real estate from the insolvency administrator’s access. Becker denies that. Theoretically, he could face up to seven years in prison. The process is scheduled to take up to three weeks.
Motionless in the glass case
As a judge, Deborah Taylor presides over a jury typical of the Anglo-Saxon legal system. Taylor is best known for her harsh sentence against Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, whom she sentenced to 50 weeks in prison for bail violations.
At the beginning of the trial, Becker sat motionless in the glass case. Only a court clerk and a translator kept him company. On the floor next to him were some loose sheets of paper, a pen, and a water bottle. A good dozen journalists had gathered behind him in the stands.
Becker was declared bankrupt by a London court in 2017. Although a personal bankruptcy in England can usually be completed within 12 months, the process has been going on ever since. Various conditions against Becker were even extended to a period of twelve years.
Boris Becker is optimistic
Shortly before the start of the process, Becker’s ex-wife Lilly spoke up. She told the “Bild-Zeitung” that it was difficult to see her son’s father in such a situation. “I look at the beginning of the process with an uneasy feeling,” said the 45-year-old. She wished her ex a fair judgment will be spoken.
In the past, Becker himself had repeatedly commented on his financial situation and his processes without – understandably – going into too much detail. He gave two more detailed interviews on the subject to “Bild am Sonntag”. In October 2020 he said about the upcoming process, among other things: “I’m optimistic and in good spirits. I’ll approach this fight like I used to approach every big match.”
In February 2022, Becker added that he believes in the good and does not have sleepless nights because of the process: “Do I have great respect for it? Yes. Am I tense? Yes. Am I sometimes nervous? Yes. But I’m not panicking .”