11 Nov 2011

Bribery accused 'fell in love' with F1

5:55 am on 11 November 2011

The Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone has told a German court a former German banker, on trial for embezzlement and bribery in a Formula One rights deal, fell in love with the sport's glamorous lifestyle and wanted to be a part of it.

Gerhard Gribkowsky, an ex-BayernLB banker, is on trial charged with selling Formula One rights in return for a bribe, with the involvement of Ecclestone.

Gribkowsky is charged with bribery, embezzlement and tax evasion in a deal prosecutors say cost the bank 66 million euros ($NZ 115 million), with him pocketing about 32 million euros ($NZ 56 million) as part of a bribe.