Will Ecclestone go to Hockenheim for the German GP?

Bernie Ecclestone (GBR) CEO of the Formula One Group. Formula One World Championship, Rd 17, Korean Grand Prix, Preparations, Korea International Circuit, Yeongam, South Korea, Thursday 21 October 2010.

Bernie Ecclestone feeling the heat

Jun.22 (GMM) The reinvigorated Formula 1 bribery affair has raised questions not only about the viability of the sport’s planned floatation, but about whether Bernie Ecclestone will lose his job or even face jail in Germany.

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“Will Ecclestone go to Hockenheim?”  Die Welt newspaper, obviously musing a potential arrest now that former F1 banker Gerhard Gribkowsky has confirmed that the F1 chief executive’s payments to him were indeed bribes, wondered.

Gribkowsky faces years in jail, and so the question now is whether the Munich prosecutors will also go after 81-year-old Ecclestone.

“I’ll wait and see how things develop,” the Briton told Welt. “Now I’m getting on with my job.”

Prosecutor spokesman Thomas Steinkraus-Koch told Bild newspaper: “Since 2011 an investigation of Bernie Ecclestone has been underway.

“For now we are now awaiting the court’s verdict in the trial of Gerhard Gribkowsky.”

That judgement is expected within days.

German lawyer Sewarion Kirkitadze told Bild that Ecclestone could ultimately face a prison sentence of “up to ten years”.

“He should also expect the prosecutor to prepare an international arrest warrant and an extradition request.”

For all the trouble, which Ecclestone said is based on Gribkowsky’s new lies to “save himself”, the diminutive Briton is threatening to sue.

“We will see if I take action against Gribkowsky. It’s early days, let’s have a look,” Ecclestone is quoted by F1 business journalist Christian Sylt.

The F1 supremo, who insisted that he is “not at all” worried that the affair threatens his job or the F1 floatation, told Bloomberg news agency: “I don’t know what they [the prosecutors] would charge me [with].”

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