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Pyrrhic victory for Bernie Ecclestone in UK court

Bernie Ecclestone

The UK High Court has dismissed an £85 million damages claim made by German media company Constantin Medien against Bernie Ecclestone. However, Mr Justice Newey did find that Ecclestone entered a “corrupt” deal with jailed German banker Gerhard Gribkowsky and the payments made to him by Ecclestone “were a bribe”.

Constantin Medien was seeking damages from Eccelstone, claiming he sold to CVC Capital Partners in 2005 on the cheap. Constantin Medien, a former F1 shareholder, stood to benefit from massive commissions if the sport’s rights were sold for more than £1 billion. The sale price in 2005 was £830 million.

In a blow to Ecclestone’s integrity Justice Newey went on to add that the 83-year-old could not be considered a “reliable or truthful” witness.

Explaining his decision Newey said: “No loss to Constantin has been shown to have been caused by the corrupt arrangement. That fact is fatal to the claim.”

In response to Justice Newey’s comments Ecclestone said: “Let’s assume I am a liar and let’s assume I am unreliable.

“I’ve run the sport for the last 30-odd years and nothing has changed. So if I was unreliable, and whatever, I have been lucky to have been as successful as we have been.”

Ecclestone will face a German court in April to answer the separate, but related, bribery charges against Gerhard Gribkowsky. If found guilty the F1 supremo could face a prison sentence.

[Source: BBC]

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