Bernie off bribery hook?

The conviction of German banker Gerhard Gribkowsky has no legal implications for Bernie Ecclestone, the F1 boss’s lawyer has claimed.

After a lengthy trial in Munich Gribkowsky was convicted of tax evasion, bribery and breach of fiduciary trust after admitting he had accepted a €45m payment from Ecclestone.

Ecclestone told the court that the payment was to stop Gribkowsky potentially making trouble for him with the UK tax authorities. Gribkowsky had worked as chief risk officer for BayernLB, and was involved in the sale of the bank’s 48 per cent share of the F1 business to CVC Capital.

It’s believed that the authorities were more interested in convicting Gribkowsky than pursuing Ecclestone as in Germany senior bankers are regarded as public oficials, and thus subject to rigorous standards.