Bernie Ecclestone Indicted by German Prosecutors for Alleged Bribery | Edmunds.com
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Bernie Ecclestone Indicted by German Prosecutors for Alleged Bribery


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Just the Facts:
  • Formula 1 boss Bernie Ecclestone has been indicted by German prosecutors for alleged bribery linked to the sale of a stake in F1.
  • Ecclestone has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing.
  • When asked by the Financial Times for his reaction to the case, Ecclestone said: "We are defending it properly. It will be an interesting case."

BERLIN — Formula 1 boss Bernie Ecclestone has been indicted by German prosecutors for alleged bribery linked to the sale of a stake in F1.

Ecclestone, 82, has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing.

When asked by the Financial Times for his reaction to the case, Ecclestone said: "We are defending it properly. It will be an interesting case."

Ecclestone is the face of Formula 1 as its commercial rights holder and dominant personality. The larger question remains how will the sport fare with the likelihood of Ecclestone being dragged through months of court proceedings.

The bribery allegations stem from the jailing of a German bank executive who was found guilty of taking $44 million in bribes and failing to pay tax on the money, according to European media reports. Gerhard Gribkowsky, the bank executive, said he received the money from Ecclestone in 2006 and 2007 in relation to the sale of F1 rights to CVC Capital Partners.

The BBC says Ecclestone said he had paid Gribkowsky to avoid a United Kingdom tax inquiry, but denies the payments were bribes.

Ecclestone, who built a fortune in the auto-racing business after a brief fling at driving and team management, rose to power in 1978 as head of the Formula One Constructors Association (FOCA) and now has control of the financial administration of F1. Competition is governed by the Federation Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA).

Edmunds says: The sport watches and waits to see whether Ecclestone will survive this challenge to his rule of F1.

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