Bernie to be charged for bribery?
YOU'RE NEXT, BERNIE: After Bernie Ecclestone admitted to paying a banker money "under duress", German prosecutors are now said to be building a case of bribery against the multi-millionaire.
German prosecutors are gathering evidence with a view to indicting Bernie Ecclestone, the commercial head of Formula 1, for bribery, two Munich newspapers were set to report on Friday, July 20.
The 81-year-old British multi-millionaire has said he will attend the weekend's German Grand Prix at Hockenheim. Bribery is a serious charge in Germany for which suspects are usually arrested.
Ecclestone testified in 2011 at the trial of German bank executive Gerhard Gribkowsky who was convicted of accepting a $44-million backhander from the racing boss. The Briton insisted on his innocence, saying he paid the sum under duress, not as a bribe.
The two newspapers, Sueddeutsche Zeitung and Muenchner Merkur, reported that prosecutors had obtained extensive, incriminating evidence against Ecclestone from an eight-hour interview with Gribkowsky.
Prosecutors declined to comment to news agency dpa on the newspapers' account.
At trial, Gribkowsky admitted taking a bribe. Prosecutors said Ecclestone used the inducement to ensure that Gribkowsky's employer, a German bank, sold control of F1 to a company that Ecclestone preferred.
Gribkowsky was sentenced to eight and a half years in prison but is appealing.