Formula 1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone has had a couple of encouraging days in court this past week.
The latest witness to appear in Munich for Formula 1 chief executive’s bribery trial was a former colleague of the jailed Gerhard Gribkowsky.
Gribkowsky’s credibility is a crucial element of the proceedings, as the former BayernLB risk officer was jailed for receiving Ecclestone’s $44 million, allegedly as a bribe to influence the sale of Formula 1’s commercial rights.
A BayernLB colleague, however, described some of what Gribkowsky routinely said as coming from “the fantasy world”. DPA news agency said that the witness had worked closely on Formula 1 matters with Gribkowsky.
The witness recalled a dinner at which Gribkowsky apparently declared: “I feel as though he [Ecclestone] sees me as an adopted son and wants to groom me as his Formula 1 successor”.
Another Gribkowsky tale told of an Ecclestone suitcase filled with $20 million, although subsequent calculations showed that it is impossible to fit that amount of cash in a suitcase.
The BayernLB colleague explained: “Dr Gribkowsky sometimes had days when he told such things. These were the days that I had to ‘switch off’.” (GMM)