Ecclestone may face charges in Germany over alleged 44 mln-dollar ‘bribe’

London, Jan 16: Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone is reportedly expected to face charges in Germany over an alleged 44 million-dollar bribe paid to a German banker who organised the sale of a large stake in F1.

The case centres on 44 million-pound payment that Ecclestone made to banker Gerhard Gribkowsky, who was sentenced to eight-and-a-half years in prison for taking the alleged bribe by a German court in 2012.

According to The Independent, Ecclestone admitted that he had paid eight million pounds and his Bambino family trust had given the remainder although he denied that the money was a bribe, and a source said that prosecutors in Munich were expected to issue a statement on Thursday confirming the start of legal action.

However, the source also said that the legal action could still be delayed or an out-of-court settlement might be reached, with Ecclestone saying in 2011 that the money was payment for work that Gribkowsky had done as a property consultant for the trust.

However, Ecclestone had also changed his tone, saying that the payment was made to stop Gribkowsky reporting false allegations about his tax affairs to the Inland Revenue. (ANI)