Ecclestone pays £59m to end bribery trial

2014 F1 season

Bernie Ecclestone, 2013Bernie Ecclestone’s trial on charges of bribery has come to an end after he offered to pay £59m ($100m) as a settlement.

German law permits defendants to settle trials by payment in some situations, without being judged guilty or innocent.

It brings an end to a trial which lasted four months and threatened to leave Ecclestone with a prison sentence of up to ten years had he been found guilty.

Bayerische Landesbank claimed Ecclestone had bribed their employee Gerhard Gribkowsky with £27m ($44m) in 2006 to ensure Formula One was sold to its current owners CVC Capital Partners. They alleged he preferred CVC as a buyer because they would keep him in charge of the sport.

Gribkowsky was sentenced to eight-and-a-half years in prison for his role in the affair in June 2012.

Ecclestone stood down from his role as director of Formula One in January due to the imminent legal proceedings in Germany and a related case in Britain, which he won the following month.

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128 comments on Ecclestone pays £59m to end bribery trial

  1. JackySteeg (@jackysteeg) said on 5th August 2014, 17:54

    So for all of us who have paid the extortionate prices for Grand Prix tickets, at least we know our money is being put to good use.

  2. Despite being born in the same county and being roughly the same height as Bernie Ecclestone, I simply think that he is nothing other than a highly controversial individual. Yes he has done a lot of good for Formula One, but figures like him (and Briatore, Blatter and so on) with a long list of highly controversial acts should not be allowed to manage top sports in any way, shape or form.

    In a way, I will be glad when he is fully out of the Formula One picture, it will certainly be a breath of fresh air to not have somebody who will propose stupid ‘sprinkler’ systems and so forth. Whether the next individual or group be better for Formula One or not, only time will tell.

  3. leslexx (@leslexx) said on 5th August 2014, 21:24

    Bernie probably offered the German court two things they cannot refuse. A $100m and a German F1 champ.

  4. SauberS1 (@saubers1) said on 5th August 2014, 22:32

    It’s not surprising.

  5. HoHum (@hohum) said on 5th August 2014, 23:53

    Poor Bernie, 1st. he is shaken down by Gribowsky for $44m. then he is shaken down by the state of Bavaria for $100m.

  6. greg-c (@greg-c) said on 6th August 2014, 10:54

    Maybe , just maybe, they let him off the hook on this one because someone has bigger and better things panned for Bernard, like gov tax office ?

  7. greg-c (@greg-c) said on 6th August 2014, 11:28

    Speaking of tax…

    There’s a million to claim as a charitable gift ….whats a bet he gets his bean counters to claim the other fines to the state as well off his next years income tax,,,,

    whats a bet !!!

    ahh Berni, turns poo into gold,

  8. gavin saunders (@gavinsparky) said on 6th August 2014, 16:59

    Good luck to him money makes money and by god he is good at it

  9. Graham Wood said on 6th August 2014, 20:01

    The best thing for him is community service. Make him do some gardening for a (slightly) old (er) lady!

  10. Russ said on 8th August 2014, 17:33

    How can some say that the bribe has been paid to the bank?German bank BayernLB says they dont accept the bribe.Someone please lock the little man up.Paying a bribe to get out of a bribery conviction is not right.

  11. This case is truly incredible and a slap in the face of society. The person that accepted the bribe is in jail and the person that paid it is not.

    It is also complete nonsense that after three years of this trial, and with only 3 months left and the court’s admission of likely acquittal, Ecclestone is paying to end it “because he is tired of it”.

    Why not wait just 3 more months after enduring three whole years???? Something doesn’t add up at all.

  12. steveng said on 20th August 2014, 6:13

    Bernie Ecclestone has to get out of F1 and that is right after this court case fiasco which is right now and never ever return again. He is becoming a liability to F1 with this fraud case that he paid his way out of, with his criticism of the social media when he suggested that F1 did not need an official social media presence, because he felt platforms like Twitter and Facebook had no future, with him and the FIA wanting to scrap some of the most iconic F1 tracks over time like Monza. Bernie should put his feet up [for god’s sake he’s approaching 84 in October] because he’s got an F1 transporter tuck full of money “What Else Does He Want”? He’s made enough money out of F1 to last him and his family 10 lifetimes. Bernie get out of F1 before it’s good for you and for F1 and let the people that know what they are doing run F1, [and that does not include the FIA as one of them.

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