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Charges pressed against Bernie Ecclestone [merged]


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#451 TriumphST

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Posted 20 February 2014 - 10:58

He got off, how did that happen? 



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#452 SophieB

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Posted 20 February 2014 - 11:00

Dan Roan‏@danroan·5 mins
Constantin Medien tell me they intend to appeal after their claim against Bernie Ecclestone fails

#453 bauss

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Posted 20 February 2014 - 11:03

is this the same as the bribery case?



#454 pdac

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Posted 20 February 2014 - 11:03

He got off, how did that happen? 

 

He's very rich



#455 EthanM

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Posted 20 February 2014 - 11:03

Dan Roan‏@danroan·5 mins
Constantin Medien tell me they intend to appeal after their claim against Bernie Ecclestone fails

 

isn't that a completely separate trial?



#456 Gilles4Ever

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Posted 20 February 2014 - 11:04

Via @danroan, part of Ecclestone judge's ruling says: "The payments were a bribe", just not with the aim of undervaluing the shares

 

 

Dan Roan @danroan

Judge says in his summary; "The payments were a bribe. They were made because Mr Ecclestone had entered into a corrupt agreement.."

"It was no part of Ecclestone's purpose for the shares to be sold at an undervalue...no loss to Constantin has been shown

to have been caused by the corrupt arrangement with Dr Gribkowsky. That fact is fatal to the claim."



#457 PoleMan

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Posted 20 February 2014 - 11:14

Thanks Sophie B. I did a quick search, but couldn't find this thread.  :blush:

 

"Corruption." "Bribes." But no guilt? Not sure justice would be so highly nuanced for the non-billionaires, but, to his credit, Bernie predicted this outcome. This cat has more than 9 lives.



#458 7MGTEsup

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Posted 20 February 2014 - 11:17

Was there ever going to be another outcome?



#459 secessionman

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Posted 20 February 2014 - 11:18

 

"Corruption." "Bribes." But no guilt? Not sure justice would be so highly nuanced for the non-billionaires, but, to his credit, Bernie predicted this outcome. This cat has more than 9 lives.

 

From the narrative the Judge is saying that Bernie is guilty of bribery and corruption, just that in actuality Constantin suffered no loss, hence their defeat.

 

This certainly does not reflect well on Bernie, nor does it bode well for his future.



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#460 ensign14

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Posted 20 February 2014 - 11:29

*ahem*

 

I doubt that the claimants will win.  Not because there was nothing iffy going on, but that they won't be able to prove that the iffy behaviour caused the loss.  It's like a drunk driver killing a pedestrian who darts into the road unexpectedly.  The drunkenness is an offence in itself, but if a sober and careful driver would still have killed the careless pedestrian, they can't be found guilty for manslaughter.

 

I am the god of lawfire.



#461 saudoso

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Posted 20 February 2014 - 11:42

Bg6WkBUCUAArQl5.jpg

You've gotta love the guy...



#462 PoleMan

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Posted 20 February 2014 - 11:56

From the narrative the Judge is saying that Bernie is guilty of bribery and corruption, just that in actuality Constantin suffered no loss, hence their defeat.

 

This certainly does not reflect well on Bernie, nor does it bode well for his future.

I understand what the judge says, just not sure it would be parsed out so finely for most folks facing those charges. According to the Beeb: "Mr Justice Newey, in the High Court in London, said there had been a "corrupt" deal with a German banker to facilitate the sale to a preferred buyer."

 

Now I'm no barrister, and haven't followed this case in fine detail, but for what purpose would Bernie have paid Gribkowsky 27 million pounds to steer the sale of F1 to CVC? I believe it's been reported there were higher bids to purchase the ownership, but Bernie steered the sale to the ones who would leave him in control. Constantin had an interest in the ownership of F1 prior to the sale, so if, as the court found, "bribes" were paid to "steer" it to a lower bidder, how could Constantin NOT have been harmed by receiving a lower return? I'm sure that will be the basis of their appeal.

 

As for Bernie, the guy has smelled of rotten fish for awhile, but I think him not being found liable will allow him to continue to rub shoulders with the wealthy and powerful. :)

 

EDIT: Paid Gribkowsky 27 million pounds!


Edited by PoleMan, 20 February 2014 - 11:59.


#463 oetzi

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Posted 20 February 2014 - 12:54

This certainly does not reflect well on Bernie, nor does it bode well for his future.

If I had £1 for every time I've read or heard this, I'd be nearly rich enough to hire Bernie's lawyers.



#464 Impellam

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Posted 20 February 2014 - 12:58

The other interestring part of the summing up was the phrase "I find it impossible to regard him as a reliable or truthful witness". So, in the judges opinion, BE both paid an illegal bribe and was, shall we say, interpretive with his version of the events to an extent which strained credulity. However, despite this, the claimant still can't prove to a sufficient standard that they suffered a loss. Sounds like the very definition of a pyrrhic victory to me.

 

I guess it'll be interesting to see what CVC does next. Whilst BE hasn't been convicted of anything, it's a pretty shocking indictment ethically. It remains to be seen whether CVC places corporate responsibility over a threat to the income stream and take some punitive action against him, rather than the bit of window dressing that's occured so far.


Edited by Impellam, 20 February 2014 - 12:59.


#465 Rinehart

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Posted 20 February 2014 - 13:00

From the narrative the Judge is saying that Bernie is guilty of bribery and corruption, just that in actuality Constantin suffered no loss, hence their defeat.

 

This certainly does not reflect well on Bernie, nor does it bode well for his future.

Exactly, this case was about undervaluation which cost Constantin, and that wasn't found.

 

Personally I think Bernie's lawyers will be able to argue in the bribe case that if there was no gain (undervaluation) there was no bribe? They'll say it was a bribe about Bernie securing the top dog status - but we already know Bernie has friends at the FIA and CVC stating he didn't need to bribe for that - that is what everyone wanted.

 

My guess is BE will walk away from all of this.



#466 pdac

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Posted 20 February 2014 - 13:18

From the narrative the Judge is saying that Bernie is guilty of bribery and corruption, just that in actuality Constantin suffered no loss, hence their defeat.

 

This certainly does not reflect well on Bernie, nor does it bode well for his future.

 

Now everyone he deals with is going to want a bride.



#467 oetzi

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Posted 20 February 2014 - 13:22

Now everyone he deals with is going to want a bride.

Well, he's quite old and he's got two daughters, so he should be OK on that front.



#468 jjcale

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Posted 20 February 2014 - 13:34

Here you go fellas, knock yourselves out on 371 paras

 

http : //www. bailii.org/cgi-bin/markup.cgi?doc=/ew/cases/EWHC/Ch/2014/387.html&query=ecclestone&method=boolean 

 

Cut and paste the address into a browser and get rid of the gaps at the start and you will be at the full judgment. Most of it is easy to read ....so you dont have to be spoon fed by journos as to what was said by the judge.

 

I found this bit more interesting (its 270 to 274):

 

 

 

  1. Conclusions on the reasons for the Payments

     

     

     

    1. The likelihood is, I think, that Dr Gribkowsky's version of events is broadly accurate. It is consistent with, and in important respects supported by, other evidence, while the evidence given by Mr Ecclestone and Mr Mullens contains inconsistencies and is otherwise unsatisfactory. Further, bribery is far more probable than the only other explanation offered for the Payments, viz. that they were made in response to a "shakedown". The blackmail/"shakedown" story is thoroughly implausible.
    2. On balance, accordingly, I consider that the Payments represented a bribe. More specifically, I find that:
    3. In contrast, I take the view on balance that Bambino was not complicit in the corrupt arrangement. I accept Miss Flournoy's evidence that Bambino caused First Bridge to enter into the agreement with GG Consulting because it understood that Dr Gribkowsky had been insinuating that, if he were not paid, he would contact HMRC. The directors' acceptance of this (improbable) story can be explained on the basis that (a) they did not know of the events relating to the claims brought by the Williams and McLaren teams that are mentioned in paragraph 258(iii) above and (b) they tended to accept Mr Mullens' advice on matters linked to Formula One. It is noteworthy in this context that, when giving evidence to the German authorities, Mr Argand said that Mr Mullens was "the one operating 'right on the front line' here".
    4. Mr Ecclestone's aim was, I think, to be rid of the Banks. He was strongly averse to their involvement in the Formula One group and was keen that their shares should be transferred to someone more congenial to him. It was no part of Mr Ecclestone's purpose (or Mr Mullens') for BLB's shares to be sold at an undervalue. I have not been persuaded that either Mr Ecclestone or Mr Mullens had any desire for BLB's (or Bambino's) shares to be sold at an undervalue or believed the price at which they were in fact sold to be below market value.
    5. The more difficult question is whether there was thought to be a risk that the shares would be sold at an undervalue in consequence of the corrupt arrangement with Dr Gribkowsky. As I have indicated, this topic was not explored with Mr Mullens. In the circumstances, I do not think it could be right for me to decide that Mr Mullens perceived there to be a risk that the shares would be sold at an undervalue. As regards Mr Ecclestone, I have concluded, not without a degree of hesitation, that he is likely to have been conscious of a risk that the shares would be sold for less as a result of his arrangement with Dr Gribkowsky. He had, after all, asked Dr Gribkowsky to facilitate the sale of BLB's shares to a buyer of his (Mr Ecclestone's) choosing regardless of whether it might otherwise have preferred to follow a different course.

Edited by jjcale, 20 February 2014 - 13:39.


#469 Imateria

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Posted 20 February 2014 - 14:32

So, for those that are far more clued in on legal procedures than me, what kind of impact could todays acquittal have on the German bribery case? 



#470 Petroltorque

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Posted 20 February 2014 - 16:11

A pyrrhic victory at best for Ecclestone. Yes he saved himself $80 millions but at the expense of being branded on unreliable witness, instigating a corrupt deal and paying a bribe. Any of which assertions would have him removed from the board of directors. Since the Court case in Germany is separate there should be no prejudice against him but were I a betting man I would say his conviction is assured.


Edited by Petroltorque, 21 February 2014 - 15:18.


#471 ensign14

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Posted 20 February 2014 - 17:07

 

So, for those that are far more clued in on legal procedures than me, what kind of impact could todays acquittal have on the German bribery case?

Dunno, that would depend on German law. However as soon as a witness says something that contradicts the English proceedings, that will doubtless be seized on.

This is interesting.

29. In May 2001, Bambino made payments totalling some $40 million ("the Team Payments") to individuals associated with four of the teams participating in Formula One. The individuals in question were Mr Flavio Briatore (in respect of the Benetton team), Mr Eddie Jordan (in respect of the Jordan team), Mr Alain Prost (in respect of the Prost team) and Mr Tom Walkinshaw (in respect of the Arrows team), each of whom received $10 million (or a sterling equivalent). The payments were made in accordance with agreements by which the payees undertook, among other things, that they and their teams would not make claims in connection with arrangements "relating to support a flotation of SLEC".

...

31. It was suggested to Mr Ecclestone in cross-examination that the Team Payments were improper. The evidence before me does not warrant any such conclusion. Apart from anything else, I am in no position to assess what arrangements there were between the recipients of the $40 million and their teams in relation to the money. For all I know, the payments could, for example, have been used to reduce amounts the individuals were owed by their teams.


Prost GP went bust at the end of 2001. Did Alain pocket the money? I mean, I could believe it of Walkinshaw, Jordan and Briatore, without any stretch of the imagination.

#472 ensign14

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Posted 20 February 2014 - 17:33

BTW, has anyone read para 137? Bernie rings up someone claiming $2.2m from him. "Hello, Mr Toifl, do you hear this noise? I'm shredding your letter."

#473 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 20 February 2014 - 17:52

I remember a Business F1 story that there was a payout/life vest for Eddie Jordan during the Honda era, and it was about 10m. I think some of it came from Honda though? And both Honda and Bernie weren't amused that Eddie put it somewhere other than the team.



#474 TriumphST

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Posted 20 February 2014 - 18:18

BTW, has anyone read para 137? Bernie rings up someone claiming $2.2m from him. "Hello, Mr Toifl, do you hear this noise? I'm shredding your letter."

 

 

Wasn't that what lifted the lid on the sorry mess, Gribkowsky wanted the currency adjustment payment as per their agreement, Ecclestone baulked and the s**t hit the fan. Bet one way or the other thats one of his life's biggest regrets. 



#475 itsademo

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Posted 20 February 2014 - 18:47

simple you cant sue for losses and expect to win (at least in the UK) if you lost nothing

The Judge ruled they had lost nothing so no compensation

ergo the little man wins by default



#476 ollebompa

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Posted 20 February 2014 - 19:01

Remember folks, he's not of the hook in German court yet. Trail is in April.



#477 jonpollak

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Posted 21 February 2014 - 06:15

Bg6WkBUCUAArQl5.jpg

You've gotta love the guy...

Mr Justice Newey?

 

Wait a frickin' minute.

:rotfl:

Jp



#478 redreni

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Posted 21 February 2014 - 09:19

Thanks Sophie B. I did a quick search, but couldn't find this thread.  :blush:
 
"Corruption." "Bribes." But no guilt? Not sure justice would be so highly nuanced for the non-billionaires, but, to his credit, Bernie predicted this outcome. This cat has more than 9 lives.


If you or me were accused of bribery and the alleged offence happened in Germany then, like Bernie, we would have to face a criminal trial in Germany. Nobody, no matter how modest their means, is ever going to be found guilty of bribery or any other crime by the Chancery Division of the English High Court.

#479 Nemo1965

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Posted 21 February 2014 - 19:30

I don't know if anyone noticed it, or mentioned it in this thread but have you seen the video on this page? :eek:

 

Am I very much mistaken, or does it really seem that Ecclestone does not have the mental capacity anymore to walk through a revolving door? Watch it. He enters it, makes a full circle, comes out on the street again!  At first I thought he was making a joke... but when he turns back to the door, he does NOT enter the revolving door, as if he is afraid he will again make the same mistake.

 

It really looks like he is, well, an alzheimer patient...



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#480 BRG

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Posted 21 February 2014 - 21:06

 

It really looks like he is, well, an alzheimer patient...

So did Ernest Saunders (Guinness case).  But after release from prison on compassionate grounds, he suddenly suffered a surprising and unprecedented total recovery.

 

As for BCE, isn't there now a British law about bribery, aimed at stopping BAe bribing Arab ministers to buy British aircraft, which ought to be used against him?  Or maybe the DPP is waiting for the Germans to do it for her?


Edited by BRG, 21 February 2014 - 21:07.


#481 Rob

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Posted 21 February 2014 - 21:35

And now he's spoken out in favour of Vladimir Putin's anti-gay laws.



#482 ANF

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Posted 21 February 2014 - 22:05

Likewise, 90% of the world admire Hitler for getting things done...



#483 oetzi

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Posted 21 February 2014 - 22:21

If you or me were accused of bribery and the alleged offence happened in Germany then, like Bernie, we would have to face a criminal trial in Germany. Nobody, no matter how modest their means, is ever going to be found guilty of bribery or any other crime by the Chancery Division of the English High Court.

All that propriety and can't use you or I.



#484 MustangSally

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Posted 21 February 2014 - 23:16

I honestly think this is a total failure of CM's lawyers.

 

The corrupt payment - whatever it was for - is largely irrelevant.

 

The original undervaluation was by Bayern Bank . . . who should also have been in the dock ,.. explaining why a 2.7bn investment by Kirsch was valued on their books at only 600m.

This Spiegel story from 2011 suggests a quite different motive for Bernie backhanding Grib,

 

http://www.spiegel.d...s-a-738633.html


Edited by MustangSally, 21 February 2014 - 23:16.


#485 ensign14

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Posted 21 February 2014 - 23:26

Couldn't sue the bank, as their valuation would not have caused the Claimant's losses.  It was a flawed case legally from the off.  And he must have known this.  Either he sued to get bought off, or he sued to get the story out in court.  The English legal system is one of the fastest in the world - you can get from a standing start to trial in a year.  As of now, one can say Bernie paid a bribe, without fear of being sued for libel - covered by absolute privilege, i.e. reporting a Court decision.



#486 black magic

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Posted 21 February 2014 - 23:35

It should be of concern to bernie and his legal team that an english justice was confident that teh payments amounted to a bribe. whilst technically irrelevant, if 1 judge has no difficulty in reaching that conclusion then more likely another judge will equally have no difficulty. the degree of confidence being expressed must concern bernie though whether he lives long enough to exhaust his legal avenues remians to be seen.

 

perhaps if they could seize his property afer any negative verdict until he wins a later appeal...



#487 redreni

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Posted 22 February 2014 - 13:46

It should be of concern to bernie and his legal team that an english justice was confident that teh payments amounted to a bribe. whilst technically irrelevant, if 1 judge has no difficulty in reaching that conclusion then more likely another judge will equally have no difficulty. the degree of confidence being expressed must concern bernie though whether he lives long enough to exhaust his legal avenues remians to be seen.

 

perhaps if they could seize his property afer any negative verdict until he wins a later appeal...

 

That's true but the German court will have to make its own mind up about that. Plus the High Court case was a civil trial so the findings were arrived at using the civil standard of proof. A higher standard would apply in a criminal trial.



#488 BRG

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Posted 22 February 2014 - 20:00

A higher standard would apply in a criminal trial.

Isn't a public admission by Ecclestone under oath in two courts of law (one in Germany,, one on UK) that he gave a bribe, a sufficiently high standard of proof?



#489 ensign14

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Posted 22 February 2014 - 21:01

He denies it was a bribe - he says he was being blackmailed. 



#490 TriumphST

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Posted 23 February 2014 - 11:14

He denies it was a bribe - he says he was being blackmailed. 

He'd deny his mother was a woman if it suited him in the moment. However on this occasion he has never in any forum asserted Gribkowsky 'blackmailed' him.

 

What Ecclestone has maintained (since he was forced to withdraw his "I never paid him anything" stance once he'd become aware the German prosecutors had evidence from whence the payments originated) was there may have been a 'subtle shakedown' that he interpreted as requiring a $44m payoff.....However in one of our higher courts a judge in his judgement calls him a liar and furthermore his assertion of this 'shakedown' threat was improbable for several compelling reasons.....  What the Judge also outlined in the judgement was that those payments were a bribe and paid to Gribkowsky for no other reason then to facilitate the sale of BLB's 47% stake in SLEC to Ecclestone's preferred buyer (CVC).

 

Though it seems perverse to me personally that while a bribe being paid for one corrupt purpose, this judge fails to accept (and a line having been crossed) that it's natural and dominant bedfellow of financial gain was never considered?   Certainly Judge Newey should have been aware of the pre-disposal (2004?) valuation of $3.4b and a post purchase valuation for CVC to recapitalise their debt (2006?) of close to $6b. So why when both figures make a nonsense of CVC's $1.8b acquisition cost were alarm bells not ringing in the learned judges ears?


Edited by TriumphST, 23 February 2014 - 12:00.


#491 ensign14

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Posted 23 February 2014 - 11:50

Probably did - we might get something about that when he considers costs.  Normally loser pays the winner but he might decide the Defendants' conduct was such that they don't deserve costs.  But the question is whether that would have caused any loss.  I haven't read the judgment closely but that was always going to be a problem.



#492 TriumphST

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Posted 23 February 2014 - 15:46

Probably did - we might get something about that when he considers costs.  Normally loser pays the winner but he might decide the Defendants' conduct was such that they don't deserve costs.  But the question is whether that would have caused any loss.  I haven't read the judgment closely but that was always going to be a problem.

 

My sentiments on the costs precisely...problems for Ecclestone with the judgement anyway but if costs don't follow the norm that compounds his problems with CVC. 

 

On the loss, Newey hardly considered the before/ after valuations and in the lack of corroborating evidence from Gribkowsky seemingly ignored them, understandably he could only pass judgement on the evidence before him. However given F1's inexorable rise in value with little change in the model over the years one can question what occurred in 05/06 that increased its value from $1.8b to $6b in less then a year?   



#493 jjcale

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Posted 23 February 2014 - 16:46

My sentiments on the costs precisely...problems for Ecclestone with the judgement anyway but if costs don't follow the norm that compounds his problems with CVC. 

 

On the loss, Newey hardly considered the before/ after valuations and in the lack of corroborating evidence from Gribkowsky seemingly ignored them, understandably he could only pass judgement on the evidence before him. However given F1's inexorable rise in value with little change in the model over the years one can question what occurred in 05/06 that increased its value from $1.8b to $6b in less then a year?   

 

I am not in love with this judgment either ... there is a little gap in the logic and a glossing over of some important points .... but its very hard to judge if a judge got it right (unless he makes and obvious mistake) if you were not there to see what was put in front of him... then again, Marshall and Blayney are no mugs (and the team from Peters and Peters probably know more about the saga or the F1 rights in Gemany than anyone esle). so its hard to think they missed out or failed to emphasise any important points.   


Edited by jjcale, 23 February 2014 - 16:56.


#494 R Soul

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Posted 04 March 2014 - 17:39

"Bernie Ecclestone has admitted he can no longer fully focus on Formula One due to his forthcoming bribery trial in Germany."

 

Link:

http://www.espn.co.u...ory/147751.html

 

Well if "focusing on F1" means double points for the last 3 races, or medals, sprinkers, shortcuts or any other bloke in the pub idea, then I say thank you Mr Gribrowski. If Ecclestone is found innocent, would someone else be kind enough to stop him "focussing on F1"?



#495 TriumphST

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Posted 10 March 2014 - 10:28

See Stephen Mullens, Ecclestone's long time lawyer has been charged in Germany of being complicit in the bribery of Gribkowsky...

 

His determination of severing ties with Ecclestone hasn't seemingly worked, because one supposes of being tarred with the Ecclestone brush during the Constantin trial.

 

Wonder if he'll roll over on Ecclestone with a reveal all deal for the German Prosecutor??


Edited by TriumphST, 10 March 2014 - 10:33.


#496 MustangSally

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Posted 10 March 2014 - 12:00

Question: Surely he can't be expected  to appear at the same time as BE? (Third week of April)

 

Wouldn't his lawyers ask for at least the same kind of time to prepare his defence?



#497 femi

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Posted 10 March 2014 - 12:04

"Bernie Ecclestone has admitted he can no longer fully focus on Formula One due to his forthcoming bribery trial in Germany."

 

Link:

http://www.espn.co.u...ory/147751.html

 

Well if "focusing on F1" means double points for the last 3 races, or medals, sprinkers, shortcuts or any other bloke in the pub idea, then I say thank you Mr Gribrowski. If Ecclestone is found innocent, would someone else be kind enough to stop him "focussing on F1"?

I hope this ends in "good riddance Bernie". Bad news for RB and Ferrari though, well it depends on who will replace him.



#498 scheivlak

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Posted 27 March 2014 - 20:25

http://www.theguardi...osts-high-court

 

"In  February, a judge at the London High Court dismissed the case but said it had nevertheless been a corrupt deal and questioned Ecclestone's honesty.

On Thursday, he concluded that Ecclestone would have to pay a price for giving "untruthful evidence" by picking up half of his legal bills, despite the "general rule" following trials that the loser picks up the winner's legal bills."

 

Only pocket money of course for Bernie, but it's significant that the judge was less than impressed by his account of what happened.



#499 BRG

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Posted 27 March 2014 - 21:06

£4 million.  So no pocket money for Tamara and Petra this week,



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#500 TriumphST

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Posted 28 March 2014 - 05:56

Says it all really, £4m for lying, pity Justice Newey didn't make him pay it all £8m. Hopefully Constantin appeal but Germany next month is looking dicier by the hour.