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Alexander Zverev issued with penalty order over ‘abuse’ of ex-girlfriend

The Olympic men’s tennis champion, Alexander Zverev, has been issued a penalty order for bodily harm against his ex-girlfriend and fines totalling €450,000 (£392,000) by a court in Germany.

A spokesperson for the Berlin criminal courts confirmed to the Guardian that the Tiergarten district court issued an order against Zverev on 2 October. Zverev is accused of physically abusing a woman and damaging her health during an argument in Berlin in May 2020. Zverev has received a fine of 90 daily rates of €5,000, totalling €450,000. Zverev denies the charge and has lodged an objection against the order.

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The Berlin public prosecutor’s office had applied for the order to be issued in July. In German law, a penalty order is utilised by a public prosecutor’s office when it does not consider a trial to be necessary, such as when the case is relatively simple and there is compelling evidence in favour of the accusation. The defendant has a right to contest the penalty order, leading to a public trial.

Given the world No 9-ranked men’s player has contested the penalty order, the Tiergarten district court will hear from the defendant and plaintiffs again before a main hearing is conducted. A public trial is likely to be scheduled and Zverev retains the presumption of innocence before the trial. Additionally, Zverev’s former girlfriend has joined the Berlin public prosecutor as a co-plaintiff.

In July, Zverev briefly addressed the potential penalty order. “From my side: I completely reject the allegations. My lawyers are taking care of the matter. I won’t say anything more about it.”

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In a statement on Tuesday, Zverev’s lawyers, Schertz Bergmann, confirmed that he had contested the penalty order, which they described as “scandalous”, and they argued against the accusations by the alleged injured party. The statement also said they had expert medical evidence that would support Zverev’s denials.

“The procedure is scandalous, there can be no question of a fair, constitutional procedure. Mr Zverev will take action against this using all means possible.”