German prosecutors on Wednesday appeared likely to press ahead with a corruption case against Bernie Ecclestone.
Until now, the F1 chief executive has been implicated in the Gerhard Gribkowsky scandal but only as the subject of an investigation into the money he paid to the jailed banker. Ecclestone, 81, has also appeared as a witness in the trial to give evidence protected by immunity, but on Wednesday it sounded likely he will be separately charged and pursued by the Munich prosecutors.
As prosecutor Christoph Rodler wrapped up Gribkowsky’s trial on Wednesday, he described Ecclestone as an “accomplice”. He said the diminutive Briton’s explanation of the $44 million payments to Gribkowsky was a “nebulous story”, arguing Ecclestone was “not the victim of an extortion but the accomplice in an act of bribery”.
According to the Financial Times, Rodler said Ecclestone had an “existential interest” in paying the money to Gribkowsky because his “life’s work” was at risk.
Ecclestone has not yet been charged.