Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 18 December 2014

Germans charge F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone with bribery

Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone has been charged by German prosecutors for alleged bribery in connection with the sale of a stake in the global racing series.

Ecclestone has been under investigation since a German banker was convicted of taking an illegal payment from him worth $44m (£29m).

The F1 chief told the Munich state court he felt pressured into paying the cash in 2006 because he was worried that Gerhard Gribkowsky would report him to UK tax authorities.

Gribkowsky was in charge of managing the sale of BayernLB's stake in Formula One.

In addition to taking the money from Ecclestone, prosecutors said during the trial that Gribkowsky used BayernLB's funds to pay the F1 chief a commission that amounted to $41.4m (£27m) and he agreed to pay a further $25m (£16m) to Bambino Trust, a company with which Ecclestone was affiliated.

Ecclestone told the court that he deserved a commission for the sale, saying: "I did a very, very good job."

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