10 Nov 2011

Ecclestone takes stand in bribery case

7:43 am on 10 November 2011

Formula One's boss Bernie Ecclestone has taken the stand in Munich as the star witness in the trial of a German former banker accused of receiving bribes from the motorsport chief.

The testimony from Ecclestone, Formula One's commercial rights holder who has run the sport for nearly 40 years, was keenly awaited in the trial of Gerhard Gribkowsky, who is accused of corruption, tax evasion and embezzlement.

The German is alleged to have received bribes worth millions from Britain's Ecclestone between 2006 and 2007 over the sale of the Formula One rights to CVC, the investment firm which owns most of the multi-billion-dollar sport.

The sale was crucial to Ecclestone as the British private investor fund wanted to retain him as the head of the sport.

81-year-old Ecclestone faces no charges himself and denies having bribed Gribkowsky.