Ecclestone says Formula One trial will be 'amusing'

Last Updated: Mon, Jan 14, 2013 10:50 hrs

Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone has said he is ready to testify in the ongoing bribery trial concerning a 27.3 million pound bribe paid to German banker Gerhard Gribkowsky, adding that the trial is going to amusing.

The case has been brought up by Constantin Medien, who is a former part owner of Formula One, and claims that Ecclestone and Gribkowsky conspired to undervalue F1 when it was sold to CVC in 2006 for 1.7 billion pounds, the Telegraph reports.

Ecclestone said he is prepared to give evidence in court and there will be a few others who will do so as well, adding that he wished they would bring it forward as it's going to be amusing.

Gribkowsky was chief risk officer of German bank BayernLB that sold a 47.2 percent stake in F1's parent company SLEC Holdings to CVC, the paper said.

Following the sale Gribkowsky received 44 million dollars from Ecclestone and his family trust. In June last year the former banker was sentenced to eight and a half years in prison for corruption, breach of trust and tax evasion, the paper further reported.

Prosecutors in Germany ruled that the money was paid to Mr Gribkowsky so that he would wave through the sale to CVC, which was allegedly Ecclestone's preferred choice as it had agreed to retain him as F1's chief executive.

Ecclestone has admitted paying the money but denies it was a bribe, claiming that Gribkowsky threatened to tip off HM Revenue and Customs with false details about his tax affairs if the money was not paid.

Ecclestone has not been charged with any wrongdoing in Germany but Constantin Medien has filed a civil suit against him in the UK, the paper concluded. (ANI)

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