by clicking the arrows at the side of the page, or by using the toolbar.
by clicking anywhere on the page.
by dragging the page around when zoomed in.
by clicking anywhere on the page when zoomed in.
web sites or send emails by clicking on hyperlinks.
Email this page to a friend
Search this issue
Index - jump to page or section
Archive - view past issues
GP Week : Issue 195
F1 >>> nEWs under cross-examination at the High Court in London, Bernie ecclestone has rebuffed suggestions that he paid a bribe to ensure he stayed in control of Formula One. ecclestone said he made a payment to avoid being reported by Gribkowsky to the authorities over his tax affairs. “I wanted to get rid of [Gribkowsky] making silly statements,” ecclestone told the court in testimony that also inferred he was “shaken down” by the German banker. Gribkowsky was last year convicted of accepting a $44 million bribe from ecclestone, although the Briton’s legal team maintains the payment was a consultancy package.) Former F1 shareholder and German media company Constantin Medien has alleged that in 2005 the F1 supremo initiated a “corrupt bargain” with Gribkowsky to ensure that BayernLB's 47 percent stake in Formula One stake was sold to ecclestone’s preferred applicant, effectively blocking potential bids from Rothschild Bank, Hutchison Whampoa, and BlueWater Communications Holdings. A separate $650 million lawsuit was filed by those potential bidders in 2012. The current London case, brought by Constantin Medien, sees the German media firm suing ecclestone and several other defendants for up to $144 million, claiming F1 was undervalued by the BayernLB deal. In representing Constantin Medlin, Philip Marshall QC grew increasingly irritated with ecclestone’s responses under cross-examination. “It doesn't make any sense,” Marshall said in court. “You are in a situation where you are being asked to pay millions of dollars over a threat that may cause you tax problems. That’s just something you fabricated. You have made it up.” When Marshall questioned whether ecclestone regarded “the payment of bribes to people who are not public officials as acceptable” the 83-year-old replied: “I will have to think about that... I wish I had thought about it before actually... You’ve had months to look through all the documents and pick out points. I’ve been in lots of different countries and haven’t had the opportunity to do that.” On Thursday, the second day of cross-examination, Marshall characterized ecclestone as one prone to bribery; citing $10 million payments from Valper Holdings – a subsidiary of ecclestone’s family trust – that were made to eddie Jordan, Alain Prost, and Tom Walkinshaw to ensure their respective teams signed the 1998 Concorde Agreement. “[Jordan, Prost and Walkinshaw] were paid to ensure their teams did sign. Isn’t that right?” asked Marshall. “Yes”, ecclestone replied. “They were paid to sign the Concorde Agreement and that’s what they did.” BERNIE TAKES THE STAND 9 GPWEEK.com // 9 GPWEEK.com // PARTNERS: