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Motorsport | Formula 1

Bernie Ecclestone © Gallo Images

Ecclestone facing bribery charges - report



Formula One mogul Bernie Ecclestone faces charges in Germany relating to a bribery case, the daily Sueddeutsche Zeitung reported on Tuesday.

According to the paper, the charge sheet is still to be translated into English before being transmitted to Ecclestone and his lawyers.

Last autumn, Ecclestone said he was prepared to cooperate with public prosecutors in Germany in order to avoid prosecution after a German court had in June sentenced the former chief risk officer for state-owned bank BayernLB to eight-and-a-half years in prison for receiving tens of millions of euros in bribes from him.

The Munich regional court found 54-year-old Gerhard Gribkowsky guilty of taking $44 million in bribes and failing to pay tax on the money.

Gribkowsky admitted receiving the money from Ecclestone in 2006 and 2007 in connection with the sale of Formula One rights to CVC, the private equity investor which owns most of the multi billion-dollar sport.

In 2002, BayernLB had acquired the rights to Formula One.

Ecclestone, who denies wrongdoing in the case, said in testimony last year that he had paid Gribkowsky because the German had threatened to blackmail him.

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