Ecclestone bribery trial begins in Germany today
The 83-year-old has been embroiled in a case after German media group Constantin Medien AG, a former shareholder in the sport, claimed that it lost out on a sizeable sum of money when the sport was sold to CVC.
German banker Gerhard Gribkowsky – who has already been sentenced to eight years in prison – was bribed by Ecclestone reportedly in order to ensure the sale of the sport to CVC.
Ecclestone has admitted that he did pay Gribkowsky $44m, but denies that he has done anything wrong in the case.
Having won a case in the British high court, Ecclestone appears to face a stiffer challenge in Germany. It is thought that he could escape a jail term by paying a sum of £25om, but it would require him to admit guilt.
Should he be found guilty, Ecclestone would be required to step down from the CVC board even if he avoids a jail term.
In January, Ecclestone stepped down from the F1 board in order to face this trial. “It is in the best interests of both the F1 business and the sport that Mr. Ecclestone should continue to run the business on a day to day basis, but subject to increased monitoring and control by the board,” a statement at the time read.
When asked about the case on arrival at the court, Ecclestone said: “I’m confident, the sun is shining.”
Image courtesy of Octane Photographic.
Luke Smith is the Editor-in-Chief and Founder of Richland F1. Having started the website in March 2012, he has gone on to become one of the youngest members of the Formula 1 paddock after joining American broadcaster NBC Sports at the beginning of the 2013 season. Luke now works as the network's lead F1 writer, supporting the TV coverage on nbcsports.com. Luke's work has also been featured on NBC News, Yahoo! Sports, Driven Magazine and the Bahrain Mirror, and he has also appeared on CNBC's TV series "One Second in F1 Racing".