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Bernie Ecclestone, CEO of the Formula One Group, has been thrown back into the controversy relating to corrupt German banker Gerhard Gribkowsky, with the former head of BayernLB having admitted in court that he received bribes from the Englishman. German authorities could now press charges against Ecclestone.
Gribkowsky has now come clean about the fact that he accepted some 28 million pounds in bribes from Ecclestone. In response to this, the latter has told The Daily Telegraph that Gribkowsky, who was the bank’s Chief Risk Officer, was trying to ‘save himself’ by admitting his guilt, in a bid to reduce his jail sentence. At the same time, the 81-year-old stresses that he has ‘nothing to hide’.
Gribkowsky has now returned to trial, with lawyers having previously stated that his time in prison had resulted in increased stress and illness. Ecclestone spoke on Wednesday:
“I suppose he would say that (about receiving bribes), so maybe he gets seven years instead of 14 years. The poor guy has been banged up for 18 months. He would have said anything to save himself. He was going to be locked up whatever happens.”
As he is in the process of organising F1’s stock market floatation in Singapore, Ecclestone admits that he would rather not return to trial in Munich but will do if he is asked.
“I’m bloody busy at the moment so the last thing I need is to go back out there."
Ecclestone is an employee of CVC Capital Partners, majority shareholders of Formula 1 who are now beginning to sell off shares to outside companies.
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