Formula 1 News

Bernie Ecclestone indicted over bribery claims

Bernie Eccelstone

Bernie Ecclestone has been indicted by German prosecutors over an alleged bribery stemming back to the 2006 sale of F1 broadcast rights to private equity firm CVC Capital Partners.

Involved in that sale was German banker, Gerhard Gribkowsky of BayernLB, who was managing the transfer of his bank’s 47% ownership of F1 to CVC. It is alleged Ecclestone paid Gribkowsky $44m. That little transaction saw Gribkowsky charged with a breach of trust, tax evasion and receipt of corrupt payments. He was found guilty and sentenced to eight-and-a-half years jail by a Munich court.

In response to the indictment Ecclestone said: “I have just spoken to my lawyers and they have received an indictment. It’s being translated into English.

“We are defending it properly. It will be an interesting case. It’s a pity it’s happened.”

Bernie claims he was being blackmailed by Gribkowsky over threats that could expose Eccelstone to UK tax authorities.

In June last year, when giving evidence against Gribkowsky, Bernie claimed: “The only alternative was that the British tax authorities followed a case that would have been very expensive for me.

“The tax risk would have exceeded £2bn. I paid him to keep calm and not to do silly things.”

That’s one big tax risk you have there Bernie!

The F1 supremo has previously said he has “nothing to hide” on this matter and it looks like we’re about to find out if that is actually the case.

[Source: BBC & The Guardian | Pic: Red Bull/Getty Images]

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