Concert pioneer jailed

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 24 December, 1998, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 24 December, 1998, 12:00am

The German promoter who turned the Three Tenors concerts into a worldwide extravaganza has been sentenced to five years and eight months in prison for tax evasion.

A court in Mannheim, Germany, found Matthias Hoffmann guilty of evading close to US$10 million (HK$77.4 million) in taxes and said it was pursuing investigations against the tenors - Luciano Pavarotti, Jose Carreras and Placido Domingo - for possible complicity in tax fraud.

Pavarotti recently cancelled two Berlin concerts after lawyers advised him that it was unwise to go to Germany while the investigation continued. Carreras and Domingo could not be reached for comment.

Hoffmann was arrested in Germany in July 1997 and has since been held in prison.