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DATE News (chronologically)
10/24/11
f1
Gribkowsky F1 bribe trial starts in Munich  A former German banker, charged with selling Formula One rights in return for a bribe with the involvement of the sport’s supremo Bernie Ecclestone, told a Munich court on Monday his decision had saved tax payers million of euros.

“The fact is that our client defused a bomb,” said lawyer Rainer Buessow on the first day of the trial of former BayernLB banker Gerhard Gribkowsky, who is charged with bribery, embezzlement and tax evasion over the sale of the Formula One rights.

He is charged with his deal costing the bank 66 million euros ($92 million) and him pocketing about 32 million euros as part of a bribe but his lawyer argued his efficient actions had saved hundreds of millions of tax payer money.

The trial of the former executive follows his arrest in January and is expected to last several months. He has been in custody since earlier this year.

Ecclestone, the 80-year-old Briton who runs the sport, is expected to be the key witness in the trial at a later date. He has denied any involvement and has said he did not bribe the banker. Reuters

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