Date: 7th November 2013 at 9:25am
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Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone has appeared in the High Court over the controversial sale of a stake in the Formula One Group.

Ecclestone has previously been questioned as part of a police investigation into a multi-million pound bribery scandal and has been accused of entering into a ‘corrupt agreement’ with German banker Gerhard Gribkowsky.

The case which is in direct relation to Formula One’s sale to private equity firm CVC back in 2006 has already seen Gerhard Gribkowsky jailed for more than eight years for tax evasion, breach of trust and taking £28 million in bribes during the sale of F1, following a trial in Germany.

Gribkowsky, who at the time was overseeing the sale of BayernLB’s stake in F1 had been accused of selling a 48% stake in Formula One without legal valuations while receiving an apparent $50million bribe disguised via consultancy agreements.

That sale according to Media company Constantin Medien cost the company millions as they had been set to receive 10% if the stake in the company had sold for more than $1.1billion, but received nothing as CVC only paid $814million.

Constantin Medien is now suing Ecclestone for $140million [the original claim had been $171million].

Bernie has previously claimed the legal action lacked merit and he and his co-defendants deny the claims of wrongdoing.

However Ecclestone has confirmed he did make payments to Gerhard Gribkowsky, but has told the Judge that they were made because the banker insinuated he would report him for alleged tax evasion.

“It was £10million as it happens.”

“I made the payment… because he said he would shake me down concerning tax arrangements with our family trust… which would have been very expensive.”

The trial continues……