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- Prosecutors say Ecclestone corruption ‘accomplice’
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Mercedes could quit F1 over bribery scandal
F1′s bribery scandal could cost the sport the involvement of German carmaker Mercedes.
Mercedes, with its own Brackley-based works team and also a major engine supplier, has watched the Gerhard Gribkowsky affair with particular attention, according to the business newspaper Handelsblatt.
The report said the bribery scandal, and particularly the implication of F1′s chief executive Bernie Ecclestone, would have “serious consequences” with regards to Mercedes’ involvement in the sport.
Senior Daimler officials are reportedly very concerned that, with banker Gerhard Gribkowsky having on Wednesday (Europe-time) been sentenced to jail for bribery corruption by a Munich court, Mercedes’ continuing involvement would be disallowed due to the Stuttgart marque’s strict anti-corruption statutes.
Namely, Daimler “does not tolerate the immoral or corrupt practices of its employees or its business partners”, the statutes read.
Laurenz Schmitt, a corporate lawyer for Linklaters in Munich, confirmed that “Ecclestone’s bribery payments would fall under this company guideline”.
Another legal expert agrees that “if Ecclestone is charged with bribery, Daimler would have to withdraw from F1″.
A Mercedes spokesperson told Bild newspaper: “We welcome the evaluation of the recent allegations in Formula One and now await the clarification of the authorities.”
The guilty verdict for Gribkowsky could have serious personal implications for F1 chief executive Bernie Ecclestone, who admits to paying millions to the former BayernLB banker.
Gribkowsky was sentenced to eight and-a-half years’ jail for crimes including bribery, for the $44million received from Ecclestone.
In closing arguments, the German prosecutors described Ecclestone as an “accomplice”, not a victim of extortion as claimed by the 81-year-old Briton.
Prosecutors say Ecclestone corruption ‘accomplice’
Further to the above, German prosecutors appear 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
Articles are gathered and rebroadcast from public feeds: source: http://www.themotorreport.com.au/54458/f1-mercedes-could-quit-f1-over-bribery-scandal-banker-sentenced-ecclestone-described-as-accomplice