Gerhard Gribkwosky has admitted his involvement that he received millions of euros after talks over a consultancy contract with Bernie Ecclestone, F1’s chief executive.Grobkowsky said that accusations against him were “essentially true”.
He is charged with receipt of corrupt payments as well as breach of trust and tax evasion.
German state prosecutors claimed that Gribkowsky received $44m in corrupt payments from Bernie Ecclestone and from the Bambino Trust, the Ecclestone family trust fund. Ecclestone has admitted making payments to Gribkowsky, but said that Gribkowsky was “shaking him down”.
In court Gribkowsky said that in May 2005 Ecclestone said he could employ him as a consultant, if he would help him sell the Formula One. He did not declare this to his employer BayernLB – a state-owned bank. Gribkowsky also claimed that Ecclestone asked for a commission of $100 million to help Bayern LB sell the business. He said that he negotiated a lower commission deal of five percent.
It will be interesting to see what happens next. In theory plea bargains are not allowed in Germany. It will also be interesting to see what the prosecutors do about Ecclestone. In theory if they know about an offence they are obliged to investigate. If one party had admitted to accepting “a corrupt payment”, then the other party could be charged with making such a payment.
Whatever the case, none of this is good for the image of F1.