German banker testifies against Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone, saying he was bribed

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MUNICH – A German banker has told a Munich court that he accepted a multi-million dollar bribe from Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone to facilitate a business deal.

Gerhard Gribkowsky, the prosecution’s star witness in Ecclestone’s corruption trial, testified Tuesday that Ecclestone initially approached him suggesting the deal be made in Singapore.

Gribkowsky testified he “understood Ecclestone knew a lot of people there, among them the head of police.”

Gribkowsky, who has been convicted of taking the money, says in the end he was paid $44 million, allegedly to facilitate the sale of Munich-based bank Bayern LB’s 47 per cent stake in F1 to a buyer of Ecclestone’s liking.

Ecclestone says he was blackmailed into making the payment, but Gribkowsky told the court he was no “evil extortionist.”

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