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A German court says former Bayern Munich president Uli Hoeness has been approved for early release from prison and will be freed on Feb. 29

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MUNICH — A German court says former Bayern Munich president Uli Hoeness has been approved for early release from prison and will be freed on Feb. 29.

Hoeness was convicted of tax evasion and began serving a 3 ½-year sentence on June 2, 2014. For about a year Hoeness has benefited from a work release program under which he has been working in Bayern's youth department during the day before returning to the prison in Augsburg for the night. He has been spending weekends at home.

The former Germany and Bayern star was found guilty of evading taxes on €28.5 million (now $31.04 million).

Hoeness will be placed under probation for three years after his release.

He stepped down as Bayern president after his conviction but Bayern officials have not ruled out his return.

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