After months of waiting, Formula 1’s commercial boss Bernie Ecclestone has confirmed this morning that he has been formally indicted by the prosector in Germany, relating to the conviction of former banker Gerhard Gribkowsky for corruption.
According to a Financial Times article today, Ecclestone said,
“I have just spoken to my lawyers and they have received an indictment. It’s being translated into English. We are defending it properly.
“It will be an interesting case. It’s a pity it’s happened.”
Ecclestone added that he had not been offered a route to resolve the suit financially, as had been rumoured in F1 circles.
The teams and FIA will now await developments from CVC and the board of Formula 1, regarding Ecclestone’s ongoing position as chief executive.
Today’s development relates to a $44 million payment to Gribkowsky when he was an officer at Bayern Landesbank, which was a shareholder of F1 before it sold to CVC.
Ecclestone has said that the money paid to Gribkowsky was in response to a “shakedown” by the banker. He has always denied that the payment was a bribe.
According to the FT, Ecclestone’s representatives are due to appear in the London courts this week to defend a suit brought by Constantin Medien that he undersold the commercial rights to F1 to CVC.