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Charges pressed against Bernie Ecclestone [merged]


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#751 CSquared

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Posted 05 August 2014 - 18:28

Gallingly for Ecclestone, if the trial had run its course through to October, in all likelihood he would have been acquitted.

In summation, after deliberating for three hours on the offer made by the defence and agreed by the prosecution, presiding judge Peter Noll declared: "The charges could not, in important areas, be substantiated."

But to add to Noll's remarks, court spokeswoman Andrea Titz stated that based on the evidence presented "the court did not consider a conviction overwhelmingly likely from the present point of view".

Asked whether CVC were happy for him to continue, his answer was unequivocal as he said: "Yes, of course."

http://www.sportingl...ith-prosecutors

If I'm understanding correctly (and I'm likely not as I know so little about law), this sounds like it was a pretty shrewd move by the prosecutors who deserve none or little of the criticism they're getting in this thread. The alternative wasn't Bernie going to jail, it was Bernie being acquitted. Bernie: "I was a bit of an idiot to do what I did to settle . . ."



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#752 Juan Kerr

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Posted 05 August 2014 - 18:57

If you are rich, you get off. What an awful world this is.

Only one world we've got and we've completely ruined it, Gribkowsky wont be very happy sat in prison, what's he gonna do when he comes out?



#753 Andy35

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Posted 05 August 2014 - 19:17

 

you are not Bernie Ecclestone, you are not 83 years old and on the brink of death 

 

"Prosecutors said Mr Ecclestone's advanced age and other mitigating circumstances gave grounds to accept the $100m offer."

 

How near to the brink of death or advanced age actually is Bernie?  He's managed recently to not only be beaten up for his expensive watch but then also be sturdy enough to appear in a commercial for same.

 

He seems more chipper than me to be honest ......

 

Some quotes and my interpretation

 

"Prosecutors said Mr Ecclestone's advanced age and other mitigating circumstances"

 

SUCH AS ONE HUNDRED MILLION DOLLARS

 

"With this type of ending... there is no ruling on guilt or innocence of the defendant."

 

BUT WE DO KNOW NOW HE HAS ONE HUNDRED MILLION DOLLARS. 

 

JUST LIKE DR EVIL.   Funny that. I shall refrain from posting the image of Dr Evil. I don't need to. Bernie with his pinky in the side of his mouth.

 

This seems to have been produced post haste, or as they say in Germany  "that's god damn diddly doable my friend!"  "Actually we have some money here in a leather brief case marked " 1 Dungeonstrasse, Chelsea" .

 

I have to hand it off to Max.  He knew his friend one day would be a friend in need, so he got Ron to pay the $100m  fine in advance  :lol:

 

Max was the cleverest mofo ever.  I doff my Marks & Spencers german naval hat off to him.

 

Andy

 

PS I even get to dig bernie did the fine in $100m dollars and not Euros?  Has he persuaded German legal system to use dollars rather than Eur also?  Top crook if so  :up:


Edited by Andy35, 05 August 2014 - 19:32.


#754 redreni

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Posted 05 August 2014 - 19:20

If I'm understanding correctly (and I'm likely not as I know so little about law), this sounds like it was a pretty shrewd move by the prosecutors who deserve none or little of the criticism they're getting in this thread. The alternative wasn't Bernie going to jail, it was Bernie being acquitted. Bernie: "I was a bit of an idiot to do what I did to settle . . ."

 

What about the judge? He could have blocked the deal. The judge can only take the view that if the defendant is innocent, he'll be acquitted. An acquittal is not an outcome that the judge ought to be actively looking to avoid. If that's the just outcome, fine.

 

And if the prosecutors thought they didn't have much of a case, why didn't they withdraw the charges off their own bat, preferably at an early stage, before the costs of the case started to mount, and without having to be induced to do so by a payment from the defendant?



#755 KnucklesAgain

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Posted 05 August 2014 - 19:22

Public opinion in Germany not happy:

http://www.berliner-...8,28031878.html



#756 Dalton007

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Posted 05 August 2014 - 19:24

Yet no one in F1 has the balls to speak their mind and question Bernie and his business deals. These guys hide in plain sight. Someone SPEAK OUT!  :mad: 



#757 Lopek

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Posted 05 August 2014 - 19:26

Sickening  :down:



#758 redreni

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Posted 05 August 2014 - 19:33

So all of you who think this is disgusting. Let's spin it around.

 

You have grown a business and you find that you are being charged with bribery.

You are convinced that is not correct and they can take you to trial and they will not find that smoking gun.

You have an abundance of wealth 

 

All of you self-righteous posters are telling me and anyone who will listen that in the exact same circumstance, that in fact you would happily take the jail sentence? Or are you saying unequivocally that Bernie is guilty? If the former, then you all need to see someone. If the latter, then I hope you enjoy your solicitors letters!

 

Because otherwise... what's disgusting about it? Really? Think about it. If the money is used properly by the state, it will go on to help fund improvements in public sector areas. Roads, Hospitals etc. Also the other benefit is that they no longer have to go through a costly trial and imprison him again at cost. So this is a win win.

 

Disgusting this is not. This is business. Perhaps the BBC and other such socialist media has warped your minds...

 

A courtroom is not a place of business. It's supposed to be a place where justice is done and seen to be done.

 

There can be no doubt that if a prosecutor withdrew a criminal charge causing a trial to collapse and it then transpired that money had changed hands, on the quiet, in a brown envelope, to bring about that decision, everyone would concede that would be a clear case of corruption, possibly leading to further action against the maker and recipient(s) of the payments. The view of the German legislators is obviously that, if it's done openly and above board, it's not corruption. That would be about right for legislatiors, who usually seem to think that if they write down all the inducements they receive from various businesses and shady characters and lobbying groups and publish it as a "register of interests", people will imagine they're not crooked. I don't agree. A corrupt payment is still a corrupt payment even if everybody knows about it.

 

It's not necessary for anybody who regards this episode as legalised corruption to accuse Ecclestone of anything. There's no dispute there was a payment. The Chancery Division of the English High Court ruled that it was a bribe, although the court was not in that instance applying the criminal standard of proof. So we know it was probably a bribe in the view of the English courts, but we don't know that it was definitely a bribe in the view of the criminal courts in Germany, where the alleged crime took place. It's worth looking into, and before they were paid off, the German prosecuting authorities thought it was worth having a very expensive trial to look into this matter. The reason they're no longer looking into it is because the defendant paid them to withdraw the charge. I don't have to be in the business of trying to convince you or anyone else that the verdict would have gone any particular way had the trial run its course, in order to say that there should have been a full trial and a verdict.


Edited by redreni, 05 August 2014 - 19:34.


#759 Andy35

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Posted 05 August 2014 - 19:33

Do you think at the orphanage they could use the money to make a small go kart track? That would be very fitting.

 

Andy



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#760 03011969

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Posted 05 August 2014 - 19:38

Some little know German "justice" rules.

 

1 - If you are charged with theft, you can steal the prosecution papers from the judge and you are let off.

2 - If you are charged with murder and shoot dead the judge, you are let off.

3 - If you are charged with sexual assault and you rape the judge, you are let off.

4 - If you are charged with bribery and can bribe the judge, you are let off.



#761 redreni

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Posted 05 August 2014 - 19:40

I believe the prosecution approached BE with the settlement 'solution'. If you were the defendant this would surely alert you to the fact that they were unsure of their case.....but maybe BE wasn't that sure of his either, so took the opportunity to settle. This is my reading of it and of course it provides an 'everyone's a winner' scenario for all parties.

 

I think fraud and corruption cases are quite hard to prove beyond reasonable doubt, the Serious Fraud Office in the UK has found itself with egg on it's face trying to prove such cases which have collapsed.

 

The German state isn't a winner, though, is it? Because the money is of no consequence to them, and they've now got a lot of people thinking the rule of law in Germany is only for plebs and not the mega-rich. The damage to public confidence in the justice system there massively outweighs the thirty peices of silver, I'm afraid. And they have potentially failed to secure a conviction that would have provided a much needed deterrant against the serious criminal offence of bribery.



#762 beute

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Posted 05 August 2014 - 19:55

"Prosecutors said Mr Ecclestone's advanced age and other mitigating circumstances gave grounds to accept the $100m offer."

 

How near to the brink of death or advanced age actually is Bernie?  He's managed recently to not only be beaten up for his expensive watch but then also be sturdy enough to appear in a commercial for same.

 

He seems more chipper than me to be honest ......

 

Some quotes and my interpretation

 

"Prosecutors said Mr Ecclestone's advanced age and other mitigating circumstances"

 

SUCH AS ONE HUNDRED MILLION DOLLARS

 

"With this type of ending... there is no ruling on guilt or innocence of the defendant."

 

BUT WE DO KNOW NOW HE HAS ONE HUNDRED MILLION DOLLARS. 

 

JUST LIKE DR EVIL.   Funny that. I shall refrain from posting the image of Dr Evil. I don't need to. Bernie with his pink in the side of his mouth.

 

This seems to have been produced post haste, or as they say in Germany  "that's god damn diddly doable my friend!"  "Actually we have some money here in a leather brief case marked " 1 Dungeonstrasse, Chelsea" .

 

I have to hand it off to Max.  He knew his friend one day would be a friend in need, so he got Ron to pay the $100m  fine in advance  :lol:

 

Max was the cleverest mofo ever.  I doff my Marks & Spencers german naval hat off to him.

 

Andy

 

PS I even get to dig bernie did the fine in $100m dollars and not Euros?  Has he persuaded German legal system to use dollars rather than Eur also?  Top crook if so  :up:

is this supposed to be some kind of argument?!(it's hard to read, honestly)

I was quoting the following sentence: "Firstly, if I were not guilty, I would fight it all the way"

and the age remark is addressing exactly that.

 

And no Im not arguing that his age has anything to do with him being set free.

Im just saying that saying "I would fight all the way" means jackshît.

 

I mean, imagine being 83 and being charged with what ecclestone was charged. Imagine you're completely innocent.

imagine you're as rich as him.

and now imagine that the chance of getting convicted is something like 30%, would you take that risk? would you fight all the way? especially if that 100 million deal expires or becomes void later on in the trial?

I bet the money means nothing to him, at least compared to the rest of the life he has left.

It's perfectly understandable to not take the risk in such a situation, even if innocent, in such a situation you dont have the luxury to fight it all the way.

 

just look at the american court system.

innocent people plead guilty left and right, simply because they rather make a deal and get a less harsh punishment instead of taking the chance and land in a american prison...

And the court is happy to do that, f**k justice, do you know how many people get arrested? there is no way that each and every citizen could get a fair trial, the court system cannot support that, it would slow down the "justice" system by magnitudes.

hence all the deal making and shady businesses.



#763 Jovanotti

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Posted 05 August 2014 - 19:58

Spiegel reports that the article this was apparently agreed upon is normally used for settling minor cases, such as fines for illegal parking, speeding, etc. to abridge the trial and make the whole process quicker and cheaper. They talk of more than 120'000 cases that were settled this way in 2003 alone.

In German: http://spiegel.de/wi...s/a-984392.html

Now what strikes me is that, 1. as mentioned before, the judge should stop this kind of deal when it's not a trivial offence, and 2. that agreeing to the payment of a fine certainly implies some kind of guilty plea. I don't believe for a second the greedy bastard payed 100 millions if he wasn't guilty in some way.
If there's some sort of guilt on Ecclestone's part, he effectively bribed his way out of prison, no matter how you call it. This is exactly the behaviour of authorities that lead ordinary people to say "**** it, I'll pimp my taxes and maneuver my way around the law in any way if it only benefits me". Sad decision all around, and yeah, Gribowski was a moron, too.


Edited by Jovanotti, 05 August 2014 - 20:02.


#764 JHSingo

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Posted 05 August 2014 - 19:59

So all of you who think this is disgusting. Let's spin it around.

 

You have grown a business and you find that you are being charged with bribery.

You are convinced that is not correct and they can take you to trial and they will not find that smoking gun.

You have an abundance of wealth 

 

All of you self-righteous posters are telling me and anyone who will listen that in the exact same circumstance, that in fact you would happily take the jail sentence? Or are you saying unequivocally that Bernie is guilty? If the former, then you all need to see someone. If the latter, then I hope you enjoy your solicitors letters!

 

Because otherwise... what's disgusting about it? Really? Think about it. If the money is used properly by the state, it will go on to help fund improvements in public sector areas. Roads, Hospitals etc. Also the other benefit is that they no longer have to go through a costly trial and imprison him again at cost. So this is a win win.

 

Disgusting this is not. This is business. Perhaps the BBC and other such socialist media has warped your minds...

 

What's disgusting about it? It sets a dangerous precedent for a start, and gives out the distinct impression that rich people are above the law. You're on trial for a crime...but hey, wait a minute, if you've got a spare £60m, it can be ended.

 

Was Bernie innocent or guilty? Who knows? Yes, he could have been declared innocent, but I'd rather have seen the trial run its duration if that's the case. Paying such a massive amount of money for it to end early...well, if he is innocent, why didn't he fight to clear his name properly, rather than this 'get out of jail free' option? It sends out completely the wrong message. It has 'dodgy' written all over it.


Edited by JHSingo, 05 August 2014 - 20:01.


#765 chunder27

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Posted 05 August 2014 - 20:02

Kust like awarding the world Cup in football to Qatar.

 

The only thing that matters in ther world these people live in is saving face and money

 

I think he got out cheap to be honest, he worth billions



#766 Amphicar

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Posted 05 August 2014 - 20:15

"Here is the tune I've been writing -
It's been so long in the making
I hope it's worth all the waiting
Not expect it all for free
Everything has one ending -
Everything has it's day
There's no use in pretending -
Yes, everything has a price to pay

You just asked me, what I'm feeling
Should I tell you?
Nothing is for free
Can't you see - can't you see?
Everything has a price to pay

Everything that I know is -
Hanging on my melody
Everything has an ending
Yes, everything has a price to pay

You just asked me, what I'm feeling
Should I tell you?
Nothing is for free
Can't you see - can't you see?
Everything has a price to pay

Here is the tune I've been writing -
It's been so long in the making
I hope it's worth all the waiting
Yes, everything has a price to pay"

Lyrics to "Everything Has A Price To Pay" by Paul Weller (rather appropriately, from the album "Days of Speed")

Or to quote Bernard Charles Ecclestone himself:

"You can have anything you like, as long as you pay too much for it."

Guess he's just demonstrated that applies to justice too.

Edited by Amphicar, 05 August 2014 - 20:22.


#767 redreni

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Posted 05 August 2014 - 20:20

is this supposed to be some kind of argument?!(it's hard to read, honestly)

I was quoting the following sentence: "Firstly, if I were not guilty, I would fight it all the way"

and the age remark is addressing exactly that.

 

And no Im not arguing that his age has anything to do with him being set free.

Im just saying that saying "I would fight all the way" means jackshît.

 

I mean, imagine being 83 and being charged with what ecclestone was charged. Imagine you're completely innocent.

imagine you're as rich as him.

and now imagine that the chance of getting convicted is something like 30%, would you take that risk? would you fight all the way? especially if that 100 million deal expires or becomes void later on in the trial?

I bet the money means nothing to him, at least compared to the rest of the life he has left.

It's perfectly understandable to not take the risk in such a situation, even if innocent, in such a situation you dont have the luxury to fight it all the way.

 

just look at the american court system.

innocent people plead guilty left and right, simply because they rather make a deal and get a less harsh punishment instead of taking the chance and land in a american prison...

And the court is happy to do that, f**k justice, do you know how many people get arrested? there is no way that each and every citizen could get a fair trial, the court system cannot support that, it would slow down the "justice" system by magnitudes.

hence all the deal making and shady businesses.

 

I know it's not aimed at me, but if I could interject with my stab at answering the question. First, it wouldn't happen to me as all my tax affairs are in order and I it wouldn't even occur to me to pay blackmail money to somebody who was threatening to tell HMRC anything at all, true or false, about my tax affairs. I would let them do their worst, as I would have nothing to fear from an HMRC investigation and could easily refute any suggestion that I hadn't paid the right amount of tax. It follows that, as I wouldn't make a payment of the kind Ecclestone says he made, I wouldn't end up on trial for bribery. And if I did, and I was not guilty, I wouldn't employ extreme delaying tactics including putting the court on a two day week, because I would want the verdict to come reasonably quickly.

 

On the broader point, though, even if I were to say that I would pay the money to make the whole thing go away if I were in Ecclestone's shoes, that wouldn't make it right. It might seem okay from my point of view because, as you've framed your example, I would know that I was innocent, so I wouldn't consider that there had been any injustice. But meanwhile the rest of us are in a position where, in the absence of the conclusion of the trial and the judgement, we don't know if the guy did it or not, and we know that the prosecutuon received an inducement to withdraw the charge, so that's obviously very unsatisfactory.



#768 Petroltorque

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Posted 05 August 2014 - 20:20

Ecclestone's lawyers exploited this loophole in the German Justice system. There's a reason why there are no rich people clogging up the jails. they employ the best lawyers. We mere mortals must hope for the best and put our faith in 12 good men/women true.

#769 Kraken

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Posted 05 August 2014 - 20:35

Ecclestone's lawyers exploited this loophole in the German Justice system. There's a reason why there are no rich people clogging up the jails. they employ the best lawyers. We mere mortals must hope for the best and put our faith in 12 good men/women true.

With you for the first sentence but you're way, way off after that.



#770 Buttoneer

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Posted 05 August 2014 - 21:09

The quote from Bernie makes this post well worth a 'like', thank you.

Or to quote Bernard Charles Ecclestone himself:

"You can have anything you like, as long as you pay too much for it."

Guess he's just demonstrated that applies to justice too.



#771 CHIUNDA

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Posted 05 August 2014 - 21:22

So what is the HRMC doing about Bernie? Is there a time limitation stopping them going after the taxes? I am thinking here there is a very willing witness cooling it off in a German prison. If Bernie is willing to pay 140 metres for his troubles there must be alot more he is trying to keep from the HRMC. So why aren't the UK tax authorities going after him?

Edited by CHIUNDA, 05 August 2014 - 21:23.


#772 Nemo1965

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Posted 05 August 2014 - 21:30

So what is the HRMC doing about Bernie? Is there a time limitation stopping them going after the taxes? I am thinking here there is a very willing witness cooling it off in a German prison. If Bernie is willing to pay 140 metres for his troubles there must be alot more he is trying to keep from the HRMC. So why aren't the UK tax authorities going after him?

 

Somewhere, in the first few pages of this thread, there was a short discussion what the court case in Germany on itself (seperate from the verdict) would have on the other deal, the deal that Ecclestone made with the Britisch tax-authorities. Don't quote me on it, but it was something like: Ecclestone got rid of a lot of hassle with the HRMC because he claimed that he had no controll over several assets, while the court case in Germany was about a bribe he made from the assets (he said he did not control).

 

Something like that. So it could be that the HRMC is dusting off a few files now...



#773 Timstr11

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Posted 05 August 2014 - 21:44

Says it all

 

BuRlDgGCYAEHGd0.jpg



#774 tkulla

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Posted 05 August 2014 - 21:51

Okay, it's quite ironic that Bernie has taken care of a bribery charge with what amounts to a massive bribe. It does bring up the problem with their being a different justice system for the rich, but at the same time this outcome nets the state $100M while most of the time the tax payer in on the hook to pay for the high costs of court procedures, incarceration, health care, education and rehabilitation. It's better than how it works here in the USA, where rich people still are acquitted at a much higher rate than the rest of us, but the only financial benefit is to the top tier team of lawyers and not to the state itself.



#775 CSquared

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Posted 05 August 2014 - 22:06

What about the judge? He could have blocked the deal. The judge can only take the view that if the defendant is innocent, he'll be acquitted. An acquittal is not an outcome that the judge ought to be actively looking to avoid. If that's the just outcome, fine.

 

And if the prosecutors thought they didn't have much of a case, why didn't they withdraw the charges off their own bat, preferably at an early stage, before the costs of the case started to mount, and without having to be induced to do so by a payment from the defendant?

The judge can only do what the evidence supports. The judge does NOT "take the view that if the defendant is innocent, he'll be acquitted." "Presiding judge Peter Noll declared: "The charges could not, in important areas, be substantiated."" Also, the judge should not actively be looking for any outcome. The prosecution and defense came to him with a deal they had agreed on and he found it within the law. 

 

As for why the prosecution brought the case at all if they didn't have enough evidence to convict, I don't know enough details to answer. Maybe this bluff was their plan all along, or maybe their plan changed because Gribkowsky changed his story on the stand. When they got to the point, though, where it looked like Ecclestone was going to walk and they bluffed him into paying a $100 million settlement that he didn't need to pay, that part looks to me like both shrewd maneuvering and at least a little bit of justice salvaged.

 

​I'd also like to add that some of the accusations of corruption and comparisons to bribery in this thread are way off the mark because of the small difference that it's not the individual prosecutors going home with $100 million in their pockets. 



#776 Maustinsj

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Posted 05 August 2014 - 22:18

HMRC can go back up to 20 years

#777 ensign14

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Posted 05 August 2014 - 22:26

When they got to the point, though, where it looked like Ecclestone was going to walk and they bluffed him into paying a $100 million settlement that he didn't need to pay, that part looks to me like both shrewd maneuvering and at least a little bit of justice salvaged.

 

I beg to differ.  We are faced with two alternatives.

 

1. Ecclestone would have been found guilty and has bought his way out of a prison sentence for $100m.

 

2. Ecclestone would have been found innocent and the state has extorted $100m out of him to drop a prosecution that was never going to succeed.

 

Doesn't matter which of the alternatives you trust.  It stinks.  It stinks to the highest heaven.

 

And we're subject to this ****ing system.



#778 InSearchOfThe

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Posted 05 August 2014 - 22:40

Yet no one in F1 has the balls to speak their mind and question Bernie and his business deals. These guys hide in plain sight. Someone SPEAK OUT!  :mad:

BE makes the teams millions. Why bite the hand that feeds you? It full of yes men already.

 

 

Him getting off with a fine only galvanizes the fact that the world has 2 different justice systems.

The rich have always screwed the poor. Always have. Always will.

Something bad has to happen to him. It has to.



#779 CSquared

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Posted 05 August 2014 - 23:36

I beg to differ.  We are faced with two alternatives.

 

1. Ecclestone would have been found guilty and has bought his way out of a prison sentence for $100m.

 

2. Ecclestone would have been found innocent and the state has extorted $100m out of him to drop a prosecution that was never going to succeed.

 

Doesn't matter which of the alternatives you trust.  It stinks.  It stinks to the highest heaven.

 

And we're subject to this ****ing system.

Short answer: I don't see what's wrong with #2. 
 
Pardon me if this seems condescending, I just want to be clear with the terms I'm using. There's the issue of innocent or guilty: the question of whether he committed the crime. There's a completely different issue of acquitted/convicted in a court of law: the question of whether the state has the evidence to prove guilt (I'm assuming that the EU and Germany have the same principle as the US of "innocent until proven guilty"). So there's a truth table of four possible outcomes: innocent and acquitted (party time), innocent and convicted (unjust, tragic), guilty and acquitted (boo!), guilty and convicted (rock on).
 
This case appears to have been one of those where the party was guilty, but the state did not have the evidence to prove it. Seems to me like Ecclestone thinks he's guilty or he wouldn't have bought the bluff that the state had the evidence to prove it (though I know there's more to it than that, like he could've thought they had false evidence/witnesses, etc). So we were looking at guilty and acquitted, the second-to-worst of the four options. 
 
You seem to be implying with your option #2 above that this was a fifth option: innocent, not convicted, but tricked unjustly into an undeserved penalty. In my opinion, we ended up with a sixth option: guilty, not convicted, but at least he paid a $100 million fine. That's better in my book than guilty and acquitted.


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#780 Gary Davies

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Posted 05 August 2014 - 23:44

I beg to differ.  We are faced with two alternatives.

 

1. Ecclestone would have been found guilty and has bought his way out of a prison sentence for $100m.

 

2. Ecclestone would have been found innocent and the state has extorted $100m out of him to drop a prosecution that was never going to succeed.

 

Doesn't matter which of the alternatives you trust.  It stinks.  It stinks to the highest heaven.

 

And we're subject to this ****ing system.

 

Yes indeed. I assume when you say 'we' you mean followers and participants in what used to be a sport (at least, mostly). For the outcome, as I understand, is a loophole in German law that doesn't exist in, say, the UK.
 
On a related note, I see Ecclestone quoted in The Daily Telegraph thusly: “In the end what has happened today is good and bad – the good is the judge more or less said I was acquitted, and they [the prosecution] really didn’t have a case. So I was a bit of an idiot to do what I did to settle because it wasn’t with the judge, it was with the prosecutors.
 
“Anyway, it’s done and finished, so it’s all right. I’m contented, it’s all fine.” He went on: “This now allows me to do what I do best, which is running F1. Another three months out would have been bad.
“I’ve been working weekends to catch up with what I’ve been missing during the week. I’ve not really noticed, but it’s probably taken its toll a little bit.”
 
"it’s done and finished, so it’s all right." eh? Business as usual. I wonder. This outcome has only added to the general stench. The Daimler AG Integrity Code, for example, is very big on ethics. Its very front page describes the book as "Our Principles of Behaviour and Guidelines for Ethical Conduct." Early in the book, a quote is writ large: “Integrity does not look for loopholes.”
 
I'm saying that Mercedes (along with Renault and Honda and other large corporates putting serious money into F1) cannot be happy with this outcome.

Edited by Gary Davies, 05 August 2014 - 23:45.


#781 Seano

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Posted 05 August 2014 - 23:46

So Bernie is 'innocent' in the same way that his old pal Spanker Mosley is not a 'sexual pervert'!

 

How apt that these two have their integrity tarnished in a similar manner when you consider their past and their deal that binds them.

 

Of course motorsport and its fans are the real losers through our common addiction.

 

"Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men." -  Lord Acton 1874

 

But today we have learned that this 'corruption' is so corrosive, it can even damage the reputation of the German legal system.

 

Meanwhile Gribkowsky will languish in gaol rueing his small endowment in the spoon stakes.

 

Seano



#782 Shambolic

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Posted 06 August 2014 - 00:57

Something bad has to happen to him. It has to.

 

Justice has to happen to him. He needs to be tried to completion, and a verdict given. Be it guilty or not guilty, because as much as I and clearly others find him a corrupt and despicable individual, that doesn't make him automatically guilty.

 

I was never happy with the tabloid travesty that exposed Mosely's fetishes. Whatever damage Max did to F1, his removal from the sport should have been due to the things he did within the sport, not what he did on his days off in private. I feel the same way about Bernie, he's fully entitled to be a conniving egomaniac, and should only be locked up if he's proven to have done something criminal. The issue here is he bought himself a way out of the process that could have established or disproven criminality. And then makes infuriatingly contemptuous remarks about how silly it was to blow umpteen million to avoid the nuisance of legal hearings.

 

It is definitely quite silly to throw more money than most will see in several lifetimes, into sidestepping judgement if it was so obvious the judgement would be in his favour...



#783 ch103

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Posted 06 August 2014 - 01:01

What I do not understand is how can one person be guilty of accepting a bribe and be serving jail time, when the person who paid the original bribe isn't found guilty of actually making a bribe?  Surely Gribkowski is going to be let out of jail?



#784 InSearchOfThe

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Posted 06 August 2014 - 01:11

Justice has to happen to him. He needs to be tried to completion, and a verdict given. Be it guilty or not guilty, because as much as I and clearly others find him a corrupt and despicable individual, that doesn't make him automatically guilty.

 

I was never happy with the tabloid travesty that exposed Mosely's fetishes. Whatever damage Max did to F1, his removal from the sport should have been due to the things he did within the sport, not what he did on his days off in private. I feel the same way about Bernie, he's fully entitled to be a conniving egomaniac, and should only be locked up if he's proven to have done something criminal. The issue here is he bought himself a way out of the process that could have established or disproven criminality. And then makes infuriatingly contemptuous remarks about how silly it was to blow umpteen million to avoid the nuisance of legal hearings.

 

It is definitely quite silly to throw more money than most will see in several lifetimes, into sidestepping judgement if it was so obvious the judgement would be in his favour...

Justice in the world has many faces.

You really think he'd pay the 100 m if he knew he was innocent? The lawyer bills wouldn't come close to that. Nope he's guilty. He knows it. Gribkowski knows it, and now we know it.



#785 exmayol

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Posted 06 August 2014 - 02:55

Newsflash: Bernie is a crook!



#786 CoolBreeze

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Posted 06 August 2014 - 04:59

So he gets off scott free...



#787 Petroltorque

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Posted 06 August 2014 - 05:46

Reading a summary of the court case; Gibrowsky changed his testimony on the stand. He failed to confirm that Ecclestone knew he (Gibrowsky) was a state official and the payment was a bribe. This was a de facto WTF? moment for the prosecution when your star witness changes testimony on the stand. The prosecutors then opted for this 'face saving' deal. I don't need to be Einstein to work out that CVC's deal was expedient for Ecclestone. Especially when all other bidders had sack Ecclestone as job one. Ecclestone and Gibrowsky are both career criminals and deserve each other!

#788 GoldenColt

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Posted 06 August 2014 - 05:58

A courtroom is not a place of business. It's supposed to be a place where justice is done and seen to be done.

 

 

Technically you're right, but factually speaking this is a very, very naive way of looking at things. Everything revolves around money, the courtroom isn't an exception and it's not only in Germany you see these sort of things happening.

 

Regarding Gribkowsky and his change of mind  I could imagine Bernie made sure to promise him some "compensation" for doing so. He will be out of prison in no matter of time anyway, according to the Süddeutsche Zeitung.



#789 ensign14

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Posted 06 August 2014 - 06:34

 

Short answer: I don't see what's wrong with #2. 
 

 

The whole nature of the criminal justice system is the need to prove someone's guilt.  For the benefit of everyone.  Prosecution, defence, society.  How much are you willing to pay to be acquitted for something you didn't do?  

 

And if you did do it, I'm not happy with a prosecution that's acting more as a business, seeking to recoup useless investment because of their incompetence, rather than do their ****ing job.  How many other guilty parties are they going to let off in return for a face-saving payment?

 

 

Yes indeed. I assume when you say 'we' you mean followers and participants in what used to be a sport (at least, mostly). For the outcome, as I understand, is a loophole in German law that doesn't exist in, say, the UK.
 

 

Actually I meant us in the UK, as under European law a German judgment is binding in Britain.  Same as every other country in Europe.  Even though the judicial systems are often woeful.



#790 Dalton007

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Posted 06 August 2014 - 07:30

BE makes the teams millions. Why bite the hand that feeds you? It full of yes men already.

 

 

Him getting off with a fine only galvanizes the fact that the world has 2 different justice systems.

The rich have always screwed the poor. Always have. Always will.

Something bad has to happen to him. It has to.

 

Although BE makes these deals, it's really time for them [teams] all to unite and force him to resign. Teams, as collective, have all the power if they came together. Unfortunately, they are freaked out by a great, great grandad midget. Sometimes one man has to take a stand for others to follow.



#791 ForeverF1

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Posted 06 August 2014 - 08:22

The whole nature of the criminal justice system is the need to prove someone's guilt.  For the benefit of everyone.  Prosecution, defence, society.  How much are you willing to pay to be acquitted for something you didn't do?  

 

And if you did do it, I'm not happy with a prosecution that's acting more as a business, seeking to recoup useless investment because of their incompetence, rather than do their ****ing job.  How many other guilty parties are they going to let off in return for a face-saving payment?

 

 

Actually I meant us in the UK, as under European law a German judgment is binding in Britain.  Same as every other country in Europe.  Even though the judicial systems are often woeful.

Whatever happened to 'Innocent until proven guilty'?

How many cases have been dismissed through a 'technicality' leaving the CPS, and by extension we the tax payers, to pick up the costs?

How many cases have been dismissed through 'lack of evidence' and the costs awarded to the defendant? I see a similarity in this to the case against BE.



#792 jimbox01

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Posted 06 August 2014 - 08:30

I'm disappointed because we're denied the opportunity to see Bernie etc.'s dirty laundry washed in public (more than it has already), but deep down I never really expected him to end up in prison - would have been interesting to get a bit more insight into his world.

If the judges' comments are true, then it looks like Bernie's legal team have just cost him $100M, and the German prosecutors have pretty much beaten him at his own game, so overall it's not a bad result.

 

I just wonder, how people wold feel if he'd been found guilty and then avoided prison by paying a $100M fine?

 

 

Anyway, so now the way's clear for him to do his deal with Red Bull and Ferrari/Fiat to buy a controlling interest in F1 - not as if prison would have stopped it though, and he'll need get $100M knocked off the price.



#793 Kraken

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Posted 06 August 2014 - 09:21

What I do not understand is how can one person be guilty of accepting a bribe and be serving jail time, when the person who paid the original bribe isn't found guilty of actually making a bribe?  Surely Gribkowski is going to be let out of jail?

With the case settled in the way it has been Ecclestone hasn't been found guilty or not guilty so that covers the Gribowski issue.



#794 Buttoneer

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Posted 06 August 2014 - 09:31

I'm going to remind people that when you comment here you should be mindful of the fact that he has not been found guilty and that you should moderate your words carefully to ensure that you avoid making defamatory remarks.

 

Bernie was directly criticised in a recent UK judgement, so I'm not suggesting that you may not also be critical, just be wary of calling him a crook or making direct accusations of guilt.

 

In a comment I removed earlier, someone suggested reposting the picture of Bernie after he was mugged for the lols.  That's a disgraceful attitude, and I strongly suggest that you avoid that or anything similar.



#795 KnucklesAgain

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Posted 06 August 2014 - 09:41

Wondering what Uli Hoeneß is thinking.

http://www.forbes.co...on-tax-charges/


Edited by KnucklesAgain, 06 August 2014 - 09:47.


#796 Buttoneer

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Posted 06 August 2014 - 09:46

He's probably thinking 'I wish the evidence against me was as flakey as it was for Bernie.'



#797 ensign14

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Posted 06 August 2014 - 09:49

Whatever happened to 'Innocent until proven guilty'?

How many cases have been dismissed through a 'technicality' leaving the CPS, and by extension we the tax payers, to pick up the costs?

How many cases have been dismissed through 'lack of evidence' and the costs awarded to the defendant? I see a similarity in this to the case against BE.

 

There's never been a case where a prosecution has been dismissed on a "technicality" on the basis that the defendant pays for it.

 

And awarding costs to a successful defendant would be the norm in civil cases (criminal is a bit different because of legal aid).  This case is awarding costs against a successful defendant.



#798 ForeverF1

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Posted 06 August 2014 - 10:13

There's never been a case where a prosecution has been dismissed on a "technicality" on the basis that the defendant pays for it.

 

And awarding costs to a successful defendant would be the norm in civil cases (criminal is a bit different because of legal aid).  This case is awarding costs against a successful defendant.

Excellent, however, I did not say that the defendant pays the costs when the case is dismissed through a technicality. The CPS picks up the tab.

 

Who, in this case, is the successful defendant? They reached an impasse where BE could be neither judged as innocent or guilty.

 

Due to this impasse, which is the better option, let the case drag on ad infinitum, racking up the costs to the State, or recoup the costs by suggesting the case to be dropped on payment.



#799 redreni

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Posted 06 August 2014 - 10:28

Technically you're right, but factually speaking this is a very, very naive way of looking at things. Everything revolves around money, the courtroom isn't an exception and it's not only in Germany you see these sort of things happening.

 

Regarding Gribkowsky and his change of mind  I could imagine Bernie made sure to promise him some "compensation" for doing so. He will be out of prison in no matter of time anyway, according to the Süddeutsche Zeitung.

 

I respectfully disagree. The courtroom is a place where the judge gets his salary whatever happens, as do the prosecuting authorities, and the precise reason for that is so that they don't have to be concerned with how much money a defendant may have or may offer to give to the state government, and they will therefore be able to treat every defendant the same, without fear or favour. If you don't have that, you don't have a justice system.

 

What they have done is given the impression that the state is more interested in $99m than in the perceived integrity of its prosecutorial and judicial system. Both the judge and anyone working for the state prosecuting authorities are effectively public servants, and the reason the taxpayer pays these people's wages is because their job is to contribute to a system that promotes peace and order in society by deterring crime, by creating conditions where victims of crime are willing to let the justice system deal with the perpetrator rather than being tempted to take revenge directly, by ensuring people believe they can settle disputes and greivances peacefully through the courts rather than having to resort to extortion or violence, and by ensuring public confidence in the justice system in general. If they think the deal they've done in this instance is good business for the state, when viewed in that context, then they are wrong. The money is a drop in the ocean in the context of the public purse, and justice has not been seen to be done, meaning that public confidence is eroded as a consequence. None of that is inevitable. As others have pointed out, nobody who agreed to this deal did so because they needed the money. The money isn't needed. So it wasn't inevitable that money would talk in this case, hence the justified criticism of the decision.


Edited by redreni, 06 August 2014 - 10:38.


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#800 redreni

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Posted 06 August 2014 - 10:35

Excellent, however, I did not say that the defendant pays the costs when the case is dismissed through a technicality. The CPS picks up the tab.

 

Who, in this case, is the successful defendant? They reached an impasse where BE could be neither judged as innocent or guilty.

 

Due to this impasse, which is the better option, let the case drag on ad infinitum, racking up the costs to the State, or recoup the costs by suggesting the case to be dropped on payment.

 

There's no impasse. If the circumstances change (e.g. a key witness has been knobbled - not that I'm suggesting Mr Gribkowsky was got at in any way) so that the prosecution no longer has a case, it's unfortunate but the only paletable option is to drop the charges. But if the charges are to be dropped, it's vital that this is done and seen to be done on the merits of the case (or lack thereof)  and not as a result of an inducement.

 

If, on the other hand, the case against the defendant is still strong enough that he's prepared to pay $100m to make it go away, I would venture to suggest it might be worth the prosecution's while to press on with the case and hope for a conviction.