London: Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone may soon face charges for bribing a civil servant, Gerhard Gribkowsky, with 27 million pounds by the public prosecutor, according to a leading German newspaper.
It is also been reported that Ecclestone might be indicted in Munich on corruption charges following a decisive statement made behind bars by convicted banker Gribkowsky.
Gribkowsky is serving time for admitting that 27 million pounds given to him by Ecclestone during the sale of F1 rights several years ago was a bribe.
Ecclestone testified at his trial last year he was being blackmailed that if he didn`t pay the money Gribkowsky would make false allegations to the British taxman about him that could cost him billions.
According to the Daily Mail, because Gribkowsky worked for the Bayerisches Landesbank, a state bank, at the time the money was paid over, he was regarded as a civil servant and bribing a public official in Germany is more serious than bribing an ordinary citizen.
Ecclestone according to Gribkowsky`s jailhouse statement apparently referred to him as such and therefore knew he was bribing an ‘officer of the state.’
Gribkowsky said that Ecclestone made his civil servant remark in a derogatory fashion to him.
According to the report in the German newspaper, the public prosecutor``s office wants to complete its investigations against Ecclestone by the end of the autumn and bring an indictment.
Front companies belonging to Ecclestone based in the Caribbean and Indian Ocean islands, and a foundation belonging to his wife, channelled the bribe money to Gribkowsky.
First Published: Friday, September 28, 2012, 09:46