It is very hard to be prosecuted for any white collar crime in this country ... someone in BE's position would probably have to make a public confession before he was even prosecuted, much less convicted.
The Guinness and the Polly Peck cases spring to mind. But a civil case won't lead to incarceration nor will it influence any criminal proceedings..... However Ecclestone won't want a decision to go against him and as F1ultimate put's it, a towel of cash will be thrown in to end it prematurely. I'm unsure if Ecclestone has actually seen a case he was involved actually go the distance without capitulating prior to judgement?
And of course the view that the Munich court got it catastrophically wrong finding Gribkowsky (and Ecclestone by implication) guilty of corruption is disingenuous given the length of the investigation and court proceeding's which convinced the court that Gribkowsky accepted almost $50m from Ecclestone to sell BayernLB's holding in F1 to CVC.
That somehow it's the case that HMRC's investigation could in some machiavellian manner disprove the bribery allegations simply because tax irregularities exist in Ecclestone's affairs. One would be amazed if they didn't exist but their investigation centres on how Ecclestone's Bambino Trust functions and whether Ecclestone is exercising control of it's affairs (knowledge of which may have led Stephen Mullens to abandon ship before being tainted by it)?
HMRC are cognisant of how Bambino were complicit in the payments to Gribkowsky which were orchestrated by Ecclestone in a manner intended to prevent traceability and any evidence Ecclestone could be breaching Trust law.
Personally I don't think Ecclestone (if still alive) will be contesting any October 2013 High Court date, he'll be too busy in Munich. As I said before, this is Ecclestone's perfect storm and everyone's getting in on the act. Constantin, Kirch, BayernLB with Morgan's and Lehman's waiting in the wings never mind the Munich Prosecutor or HMRC.
Edited by TriumphST, 15 January 2013 - 19:28.