German banker jailed for eight years after taking £28m bribe
A GERMAN banker has been jailed for eight years for taking a £28m (€35) bribe in connection with the sale of his bank's stake in the Formula One racing series.
In his closing statement, a prosecutor said the racing series' boss Bernie Ecclestone made the payment.
Prosecutor Christoph Rodler told the court that defendant Gerhard Gribkowsky, 54, received "no advisory fee but bribe money" in connection with the 2006 sale of BayernLB's stake in Formula One.
Giving evidence in the case last November, Mr Ecclestone told the Munich state court he felt pressured into paying the cash because he worried Gribkowsky would report him to British tax authorities for "things" that would cost him dearly.
Mr Ecclestone has not been charged in the case, but is under investigation and Mr Rodler accused him in his closing statements of bribery.
"Ecclestone was not a victim of blackmail, but a fellow participant in bribery," Mr Rodler told the court.
Gribkowsky was in charge of managing the sale of BayernLB's stake in Formula One.
In addition to taking the money from Mr Ecclestone, prosecutors maintained Gribkowsky used BayernLB's funds to pay the Formula One chief a commission of £26.5 million and agreed to pay a further £16 million to Bambino Trust, a company with which Mr Ecclestone was affiliated.
Mr Ecclestone told the court that he had deserved a commission for the sale, saying "I did a very, very good job."
Gribkowsky, who largely admitted to the charges, was found guilty of corruption, tax evasion and breach of trust.