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DATE News (chronologically)
11/12/11
f1
Ecclestone accused of 'beggaring belief' with evidence
Bernie doing what Bernie does best
Formula 1 chief Bernie Ecclestone's evidence to a Munich court about alleged bribes paid on the 2006 sale of the motor sport has been called into question.

The other party in a civil case Mr. Ecclestone is facing has described the billionaire's explanation for the $44m (£27m) "bribe" he paid to German investment banker Gerhard Gribkowsky as "beggaring belief".

The statement came in response to Mr. Ecclestone describing how he was the victim of a "subtle shakedown" by Mr. Gribkowsky.

Mr. Ecclestone admitted paying the money but denied it was a bribe. He claimed the investment banker threatened to report him to the tax authorities if he did not pay the money.

In a strongly worded statement lawyers for Constantin Medien, which is suing Mr. Ecclestone over the sale of Formula 1 to CVC Capital Partners, called the evidence incredible.

"Constantin have listened to Mr. Ecclestone's evidence in Germany with increasing incredulity," said Keith Oliver, head of commercial fraud litigation at Peters and Peters. "It truly beggars belief that Mr. Ecclestone could have entered into the bizarre arrangements he has described in his evidence to the Court in Munich. Constantin maintain that the F1 rights were sold at a gross undervalue – their losses are at least $171m – and the High Court proceedings in London for conspiracy to defraud … will continue to be vigorously pursued." telegraph.co.uk

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