Formula 1 boss Ecclestone indicted on bribery charge

Discussion in 'Formula 1' started by Andi Goodwin, Jul 17, 2013.

  1. Andi Goodwin

    Andi Goodwin


    German prosecutors have indicted Formula 1 boss Bernie Ecclestone on a bribery charge.

    The charge relates to a $44m (£29m) payment to a German banker, Gerhard Gribkowsky of Bayern Landesbank. It was linked to the sale of a stake in F1.

    Mr Ecclestone said he had paid Mr Gribkowsky to avoid a UK tax inquiry into the sale of Formula 1 in 2006, but he denies the payments were bribes.

    Mr Gribkowsky was sentenced to eight-and-a-half years in jail in Munich.

    Speaking to the Financial Times on Wednesday, Mr Ecclestone said: "I have just spoken to my lawyers and they have received an indictment. It's being translated into English."

    Asked how he responded to the indictment, he said: "We are defending it properly. It will be an interesting case. It's a pity it's happened."

    Mr Ecclestone said it was "inevitable" that the indictment had been served by the Munich court. "If someone wants to sue you, they can do it and you have to defend it," he said.

    He has until mid-August to respond to the charges. The court will then decide whether to take the case to trial - it could be heard by mid-September.

    Mr Ecclestone faces a possible jail term if found guilty, something he has previously said would force him to stand down as head of F1.

    His lawyer told the Financial Times the indictment was largely based on statements from Gribkowsky, and that Mr Ecclestone intended to dispute these.

    source BBC

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