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Bernie Ecclestone Court Case Worth £85million Going His Way

Whether you admire Bernie Ecclestone or think he’s a little bit too much of a wide boy for the world of F1 that he has fostered over the years, you can’t help but admire his ability to slip away from trouble. The F1 ringmaster’s latest bit of luck could actually put even more money into his pockets as his chance of winning an £85million High Court trial have been given a boost because a key piece of evidence has been questioned.

The case concerned a £27million payment Ecclestone made to Gerhard Gribkowsky, German bank BayernLB’s former chief risk officer. According to Gribkowsky, Ecclestone offered a bribe to get him to sell BayernLB’s 47.2% stake in F1 to CVC.

Ecclestone denies that the money was a bribe and has countered by saying that Gribkowsky was threatening to tell HMRC about his offshore trust company, Bambino, which would have caused the F1’s chief massive tax problem as he’s a UK citizen. This situation didn’t appear to be resolving itself but Bernie’s hit a purple patch as Gribkowsky’s lawyer seemed to give weight to Ecclestone's claim when he said that his client was “the deciding man behind Bambino”.

This comment has made Gribkowsky’s testimony a little suspect as he stated on record: “I have never seen any sign or indication that Mr Ecclestone exerts any control or influence, or has attempted to exert any control or influence, over… the trustees.”

Media giants Constantin Medien are the ones behind the case. Their dispute with Bernie Ecclestone is that they would have paid more for Formula One than CVC. They allege that as their deal wasn’t going to offer Ecclestone a place at the top of the Formula One tree he did everything he could to stop it happening. Mr Justice Newey is deliberating over the trial at this time and expects to reach a verdict within two months.

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