F1's Ecclestone denies bribery

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The Independent Online

Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone has denied claims he is connected to a $50m (£30m) bribe allegedly paid to German banker, Gerhard Gribkowsky, for undervaluing his bank's shares when sold to a private equity firm, CVC, in 2006.

Mr Gribkowsky, a former chief risk officer for state-owned BayernLB, was arrested in January after it was discovered he had been paid $50m after the sale of the bank's 48 per cent stake in F1's parent company, SLEC.

Reports in the German press claim prosecutors are investigating Ecclestone's possible involvement. Both he and CVC have denied paying a bribe. Mr Ecclestone said: "I went to see the senior state prosecutor earlier this month to clear up any allegations against me. I will continue to give the State Prosecution Office my full cooperation. I am confident that when the full facts have been established, I will be exonerated."

Mr Gribkowsky is appealing his arrest and the freezing of the $50m.