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Bernie's Christmas card mocks Bavaria

2014-12-19 08:56

HERE'S LOOKING AT ME: Bernie Ecclestone has sent out a tongue-in-cheek Christmas card with which he mocks both himself and his 2014 bribery 'trial' in the Bavarian courts. Image: Twitter

ALAN BALDWIN

LONDON, England - Formula 1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone has revisited his German bribery trial with a mischievous Christmas card depicting himself as handing over $100-million to a masked highwayman pointing a pistol at him.

He was referring to the Bavarian courts system.

"This is not a robbery. I am collecting for the Bavarian state," says the cartoon figure on horseback as Ecclestone holds out a sack of money.

A greeting in the card sent to Reuters, Ecclestone adds another tongue-in-cheek comment: "Maybe now we can have a Formula 1 race in the really nice city of Munich, Germany."

INNOCENCE PRESERVED

Ecclestone paid the equivalent of R1-billion in August 2014 under the terms of a settlement with prosecutors to end the bribery trial in Munich. The agreement meant Ecclestone, now 84, preserved his innocence and was spared the prospect of a lengthy trial.

He had one week to pay the money - R90-million to the state and R10-million more to a children's charity - within the deadline.

He was accused of channelling cash to jailed BayernLB banker Gerhard Gribkowsky to grease the successful sale of a major stake in F1 to private-equity fund CVC, now the largest shareholder in the business.

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