Ecclestone could be sued after bribery trial

Bernie Ecclestone (GBR) F1 Supremo with Dr Gerhard Gribkowsky (GER) the majority shareholder of SLEC Holdings and Donald Mackenzie, Managing Partner of CVC Capital Partners. Formula One World Championship, Rd 1, Bahrain Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Bahrain International Circuit, Bahrain, 11 March 2006. DIGITAL IMAGE

Bernie Ecclestone with Gerhard Gribkowsky in 2006

Oct.25 (GMM) Bernie Ecclestone could be sued at the conclusion of former Formula 1 banker Gerhard Gribkowsky’s corruption trial.

The trial, surrounding a multi million payment from the F1 chief executive to Gribkowsky amid the sport’s sale some years ago, began this week in Munich.

According to a British newspaper report, prosecutors say that if Gribkowsky is found guilty, the $44 million must be paid to BayernLB because the Munich bank owned the relevant share in F1’s commercial rights.

But as Ecclestone and his family trust have only been called as witnesses, the prosecutors would “have to sue Mr Ecclestone and the trust to recover the … shortfall suffered by BayernLB”, the Independent said.

But “it is hard see how this could succeed, given that the bank’s investigations showed that it agreed to the fee and other board members were aware of it”, wrote journalists Christian Sylt and Caroline Reid.