Ecclestone made 'corrupt agreement'
30 October 2013 – F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone was accused of making a 'corrupt agreement', at the High Court in London on Tuesday.
The case has been filed by Constantin Medien, which is seeking damages of at least £90 million, arguing that BayernLB's 47 percent stake was undervalued when it was sold to CVC back in 2006.
Philip Marshall QC, representing Constantin Medien, said 'corrupt payments' – totalling around £27m - had been made to German banker Gerhard Gribkowsky during the sale, a sale that took place 'without the normal and proper process' and which was done to ensure Ecclestone kept his role as chief executive.
Ecclestone's representative, Robert Miles QC, meanwhile countered by saying the 'claim lacks any merit'.
“In short, this is an artificial, manufactured, complaint,” he stated. “The claim fails on each of its elements. There was no conspiracy, there was no intent to injure Constantin. Constantin has suffered no loss.”
“It was arranged that Dr Gribkowsky would be given a pay off by way of consultancy package as he was requesting,” he added. “Mr Ecclestone agreed to a pay off because of the tax threats and insinuations which he had received from Dr Gribkowsky.”
The hearing now continues today, with Ecclestone not expected to appear himself until after this weekend’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. The case is expected to go on for several weeks.