F1 boss accused of offering multi-million bribe to German banker in Singapore
A bombshell was dropped in a German court on May 9 in the ongoing corruption trial of Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone.
Key prosecution witness, convicted banker German banker Gerhard Gribkowsky, testified that Ecclestone offered him US$80 million (S$100 million) in Singapore.
The bribe was to facilitate the sale of Formula One rights.
The allegation took the court by surprise, with Judge Peter Noll's asking: "And you are telling us this now, like this?”
Gribkowsky testified that a US$80 million bribe was a second offer made. The first was a US$10 million bribe, which Ecclestone was offered in 2004.
But Gribkowsky is no saint himself.
He was sentenced to eight and a half years jail for taking bribes in 2012 by a Munich court for accepting a US$44 million bribe from Ecclestone.
Ecclestone maintains it was not a bribe but rather hush money after a blackmail attempt by the German banker.
If found guilty, Ecclestone, who has pleaded not guilty to the bribery charge, faces a maximum jail term of 10 years.