The Sing Sing Correctional Facility is a maximum security prison located at the town of Ossining, New York. The name is such that it has now passed into the language and is used as a general term for imprisonment. This should be confused with the criminal terminology of “to sing”, which is a short form of “sing like a canary”, which means that a person tells the authorities everything they know about an alleged crime.
The word from Germany is that Gerhard Gribkowsky is in discussion with prosecutors over whether he wants to admit involvement in alleged bribery in an effort to change the sentence he receives. Gribkowsky has been in custody for 17 months, but has at no point made any statements in court. He is accused of breach of trust, tax evasion and receiving substantial bribes.
The last of the charges is the significant one for the Formula 1 world because if Gribkowsky admits that he received a bribe, this will mean that the person or persons who paid the bribe will also be liable for prosecution. German prosecutors have traced payments made to Gribkowsky to a company in the Formula One group and to the Ecclestone Family trust company, which is controlled by Slavica Ecclestone, the former wife of F1 CEO Bernie Ecclestone.
Ecclestone appeared as a witness during Gribkowsky’s trial and said that he did not pay a bribe, but rather felt the need to pay the banker because he felt he was “being shaken down” over questions about his dealings with UK tax, although he did not make any accusation of blackmail. CVC Capital Partners, which appears to be the majority owner of the Formula One group, says that it had no knowledge any payments made by Ecclestone to Gribkowsky.