Ecclestone linked to Gribbowsky charges

State prosecutors in Munich, Germany, have charged former Bayern LB bank chief risk officer Gerhard Gribbowsky over his part in the sale of F1's commercial rights (then majority-owned by the bank) to CVC Capital Partners in 2006.

It is alleged that Gribbowsky took bribes disguised as consultancy payments to shell companies set up in Mauritius and the Virgin Islands and that due taxes were not paid.

Prosecutor spokeswoman Barbara Stockinger accused Gribkowsky of taking $44m in payments from the "Formula 1 CEO", identified in a news release as "Bernard E", and affiliated companies named as Bambino Trust and Bambino Holdings.

It is also alleged that Gribkowsky later used Bayern LB funds to pay Ecclestone a commission of $41.4m with other funds also going to the family Bambino Trust.

The German courts will now decide whether Gribbowsky faces a trial that could see him face a 10-year jail term if convicted.

Ecclestone, meanwhile, met with German prosecutors three months ago. The F1 commercial rights holder claimed that he will be exonerated of any wrongdoing. CVC has said that it has no knowledge of any payments made to Gribbowsky.

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