I was a bit of an idiot, says Bernie Ecclestone

Zee Media Bureau

New Delhi: Bernie Ecclestone says he was a bit of an idiot for paying GBP 60million to settle Formula One bribery trial in Germany. The Formula One boss agreed with German prosecutors on Tuesday to pay amount to end his trial.

The F1 supremo said that he was a “bit of an idiot” to pay the record sum to settle the case, “because it wasn`t with the judge, it was with the prosecutors.” The 83-year-old added "anyway, it`s done and finished, so it`s all right. I`m contented, it`s all fine.”

The Formula One boss was accused of paying a GBP 27m kickback to Bayern Landesbank`s chief risk officer Gerhard Gribkowsky in 2005, to get him to sell his bank’s holdings in Formula One to a client of his choice. The trial were started in Munich in April.

Confirming the deal, the Munich court said in a statement that GBP 59m would be paid to the German treasury and a further remaining amount to a German children`s hospice charity. However, the court directed the defendant to pay the settlement amount within a week, after which the trial will officially be abandoned.

Financial settlements are allowed in German criminal cases if the prosecution, aggrieved parties and the court agree. It is believed that around 300,000 deals of such kinds are struck in the German justice system every year.

With Agency inputs