Ecclestone says he is being charged in bribery case

2013 F1 season

Bernie Ecclestone, 2011Bernie Ecclestone has told the Financial Times he faces charges in the investigation into whether he bribed German banker Gerhard Gribkowsky.

Gribkowsky was sentenced to serve eight-and-a-half years in jail last year. He abandoned an appeal against the conviction in May.

Now Ecclestone says his lawyers “have received an indictment. It?s being translated into English.”

Ecclestone added: “We are defending it properly. It will be an interesting case. It?s a pity it?s happened.”

Gribkowsky was arrested in January 2011 and Ecclestone later admitted making a payment to him.

“I was asked to appear and I appeared,” said Ecclestone earlier this month. “Anything I said at the trial was the truth so I have no reason to believe or expect that anything could be turned against me.”

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35 comments on Ecclestone says he is being charged in bribery case

  1. Lucas Wilson (@full-throttle-f1) said on 17th July 2013, 12:04

    can he go to jail? :-)

  2. Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 17th July 2013, 12:31

    Instead of going to jail, maybe Bernie should be made to buy the Nurburgring.

  3. karter22 (@karter22) said on 17th July 2013, 12:31

    Hell will freeze over before we see Bernie in jail. He´s got it covered for sure!

    • James Blake said on 17th July 2013, 23:52

      I want to know his insurance company! Always good to know one that’ll keep you out of jail for minor financial discrepancies. ;-)

  4. Maksutov (@maksutov) said on 17th July 2013, 15:56

    “Anything I said at the trial was the truth so I have no reason to believe or expect that anything could be turned against me.”

    It’s called a trial for a reason Mr Ecclestone. Can’t expect them to take your word for it.

    But as far as the seriousness is concerned, I believe this says it all:

    It will be an interesting case.


    Bernie thinking: “hmmmm…. now who do i have to bribe next….”

  5. BJ (@beejis60) said on 17th July 2013, 17:13

    Crossing my fingers for replacement by CVC soon.

  6. Joe Papp (@joepa) said on 17th July 2013, 17:50

    No surprise.

    Hopefully CVC has put in place a succession plan? I agree w/ Dieter Rencken that, in general, F1 is in a disastrous state and no IPO is in the immediate future for the sport. Shame what’s happened, really…

  7. KeeleyObsessed (@keeleyobsessed) said on 17th July 2013, 17:57

    I hope this trial (and it’s outcome) will show how much Bernie Ecclestone actually means to the sport. It makes me sick seeing various comments slating him time and time again (even for some things he has no control over!).
    Also, as a soon-to-be Law Degree student (exam results permitting), it’ll be very interesting for me when researching this case and the different points being made. I enjoyed the Mercedes hearing for the same reasons..

    • HoHum (@hohum) said on 18th July 2013, 1:41

      @keeleyobsessed, Bernie seems to have some obsessive fans, assuming you are not part of a mature graduate scheme I doubt you have known F1 without Bernie. Have you researched how Bernie became the “rights holder” and how he subsequently sold those right for billions of dollars ?
      Bernie is a very shrewd businessman and has been very good at making F1 a valuable brand, had he done so for the good of F1 as CEO of a company owned by the teams I would be one of his greatest champions, unfortunately everything Bernie has done has been 1st. and foremost for the good of Bernie, not for the good of F1.

  8. GT_Racer said on 17th July 2013, 19:04

    Anyone who thinks the sport will be better with Bernie gone is in for a major shock when that day comes.

    Regardless of what people tend to think, Bernie actually does love this sport & has put a lot back into it to help build it to where it is.
    Whoever CVC decide to put in his place (And it will be a CVC decision) may not care about the sport as much.

    Has Bernie made a fortune off F1, Yes, However he’s also spent a fortune & lost a fortune on F1. From the F1 Digital+ service he had so much of his own cash invested in, To the TV side in general (in-car cameras, dedicated timing systems, consistent tv graphics at every race etc…) & way back in the days where he was putting his own money forward as price money for race winners when the individual race promoters were not always willing to put anything up.

    Is everything Bernie’s done necessarily positive (Or perceived as positive), No. However he’s done far more good for F1 over the years than he has bad.

    • HoHum (@hohum) said on 18th July 2013, 1:24

      @GT_Racer, can you back up those claims of Bernie using his own money? I don’t believe it, I think any money Bernie spent (outside his team ownership) on F1 would have been charged against revenue and therefore ultimately paid for by the teams. Prove me wrong!

    • BLOWF1 said on 18th July 2013, 1:31

      Bernie is F1, The real F1 people love and respect Bernie (I mean the paddock, drivers et al, except [good riddance] Adam Par]) because the people that matter in F1 know what Bernie has done and Bernie cannot be touched, watch. You cannot put a good man down

  9. James Blake said on 17th July 2013, 23:46

    Maybe it’s a case of money taking over the love of the sport. It can happen, you know. He’s a very shrewd businessman and I do find it quite amusing that he felt saying the payment was to keep the banker quiet about his tax avoidance! That’s gotta mean only one thing, surely. He’s happy to take the publics animosity over that issue than to be found out as a total fraudster. Maybe he is cutting his losses and decided this will be the best way to save the face of F1, which I do believe he started investing in for the right reasons.


  10. Maciek (@maciek) said on 18th July 2013, 2:12

    Poor old Bernie just can’t catch a break. No matter what innocent old thing he does, the nasty press just turns it inside out to make him look like a greedy little evil troll when in fact he’s nicer than Santa Claus and more gentle than the Easter bunny. Now this. All he did was pay a guy heaps of money to keep quiet about his tax evasion. And people just lose their marbles and call that bribery. Why the knee-jerk reaction could make you think the guy had praised Hitler or something, you know?

  11. reg (@reg) said on 18th July 2013, 22:01

    Well, Bernie getting finally getting convicted of something was my answer for “big news of the year” in the F1 Fanatic prediction competition, but all the rest of my answers are not fairing so well — so I imagine Bernie will eventually prove that one wrong as well! :)

    I thought I was being mean in saying 4th place was the best result Hulkenberg would get this year in the Sauber, but I think he and the team would rejoice in getting that result this year!

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