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Charges pressed against Bernie Ecclestone [merged]


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#801 ForeverF1

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Posted 06 August 2014 - 10:40

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.

If, what we read in the Independent is true, the offer of cessation was made by the Court, not by BE or his counsel.



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#802 redreni

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Posted 06 August 2014 - 10:47

If, what we read in the Independent is true, the offer of cessation was made by the Court, not by BE or his counsel.

 

If either the judge or the prosecutor had been opposed to this deal, it wouldn't have happened. Going by every report I've read, and by Ecclestone's comments, the deal was between the parties (prosecution and defense) but required the judge's blessing. Regardless of who's idea it was, in my view it's a very bad idea, for the reasons I mentioned.



#803 ForeverF1

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Posted 06 August 2014 - 10:52

If either the judge or the prosecutor had been opposed to this deal, it wouldn't have happened. Going by every report I've read, and by Ecclestone's comments, the deal was between the parties (prosecution and defense) but required the judge's blessing. Regardless of who's idea it was, in my view it's a very bad idea, for the reasons I mentioned.

Logic dictates that if they suggested the deal they would not be opposed to it.



#804 Nemo1965

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Posted 06 August 2014 - 11:01

If either the judge or the prosecutor had been opposed to this deal, it wouldn't have happened. Going by every report I've read, and by Ecclestone's comments, the deal was between the parties (prosecution and defense) but required the judge's blessing. Regardless of who's idea it was, in my view it's a very bad idea, for the reasons I mentioned.

 

Well, to play the devil's advocate (which means I am disappointed with the deal, mind you): I recently talked to someone who worked at het International Gerechtshof in The Hague, you know, the place where Mladic is on trial. He told me that the courts costs about 100 millions a year, but that The Hague earns it back by all the extra income for hotels, restaurants, and so forth. The point is: a presiding judge in the Netherlands has a a minimum hour pay of 300 euro's per hour. Second judge: 200 per hour. A secretary to the court 150 per hour. District attorney: 300 per hour. Of course the state pays for this all, but a judge that his tangled up in one case does not have time for another case.

 

So, lets say that Germany has about the same costs. About six magistrates for court. That is about, oh, 10.000 euro's per session? Peanuts for Ecclestone, his lawyers won't even have lunch with him for that amount of money. For the secretary of justice, however, a case like that, of whom the presiding judge explains him it will be a 50/50 shot of conviction... a deal becomes very atractive.


Edited by Nemo1965, 06 August 2014 - 11:07.


#805 redreni

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Posted 06 August 2014 - 12:06

Logic dictates that if they suggested the deal they would not be opposed to it.

 

Agreed. It shouldn't have been suggested in the first place, and regardless which of judge or prosecutor first mooted the idea, the other oughtn't to have touched it with a dirty bargepole, because it stinks to high heaven.



#806 ForeverF1

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Posted 06 August 2014 - 12:20

Agreed. It shouldn't have been suggested in the first place, and regardless which of judge or prosecutor first mooted the idea, the other oughtn't to have touched it with a dirty bargepole, because it stinks to high heaven.

That is merely your opinion and I respect that.



#807 redreni

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Posted 06 August 2014 - 12:24

Well, to play the devil's advocate (which means I am disappointed with the deal, mind you): I recently talked to someone who worked at het International Gerechtshof in The Hague, you know, the place where Mladic is on trial. He told me that the courts costs about 100 millions a year, but that The Hague earns it back by all the extra income for hotels, restaurants, and so forth. The point is: a presiding judge in the Netherlands has a a minimum hour pay of 300 euro's per hour. Second judge: 200 per hour. A secretary to the court 150 per hour. District attorney: 300 per hour. Of course the state pays for this all, but a judge that his tangled up in one case does not have time for another case.

 

So, lets say that Germany has about the same costs. About six magistrates for court. That is about, oh, 10.000 euro's per session? Peanuts for Ecclestone, his lawyers won't even have lunch with him for that amount of money. For the secretary of justice, however, a case like that, of whom the presiding judge explains him it will be a 50/50 shot of conviction... a deal becomes very atractive.

 

I must confess I don't know where on the pyramid of the German court system this particular court sits, so am prepared to be enlightened, but it's not an international tribunal. It's a first instance case, and it's at state rather than federal level, so I'd have thought it's fair to assume it's at no higher a level than, say, the English High Court. A judge in the High Court earns £176,226 if he's on an annual salary, or £839 per day if he's fee-paid, so about a third of what the judges who hear war crimes trials get.

 

Whatever he's being paid, though, he's getting paid to make sure justice is done and seen to be done. If he suggests a deal whereby the defendant pays the state to drop the charges, in my book he hasn't earned his money. The other two alternatives were both better - either continue with the trial if there's a realistic prospect of a conviction, or stop the trial, thereby preventing any further public expense, if there isn't. I'm not ruling out the possibility that stopping the trial at this late stage was the right decision. If a witness changes his story, that can mean there's no alternative. They shouldn't accept money from the defendant to drop the charges, though, because as soon as they do, it casts doubt on the integrity of the decision.



#808 Nemo1965

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Posted 06 August 2014 - 12:33

I must confess I don't know where on the pyramid of the German court system this particular court sits, so am prepared to be enlightened, but it's not an international tribunal. It's a first instance case, and it's at state rather than federal level, so I'd have thought it's fair to assume it's at no higher a level than, say, the English High Court. A judge in the High Court earns £176,226 if he's on an annual salary, or £839 per day if he's fee-paid, so about a third of what the judges who hear war crimes trials get.

 

Whatever he's being paid, though, he's getting paid to make sure justice is done and seen to be done. If he suggests a deal whereby the defendant pays the state to drop the charges, in my book he hasn't earned his money. The other two alternatives were both better - either continue with the trial if there's a realistic prospect of a conviction, or stop the trial, thereby preventing any further public expense, if there isn't. I'm not ruling out the possibility that stopping the trial at this late stage was the right decision. If a witness changes his story, that can mean there's no alternative. They shouldn't accept money from the defendant to drop the charges, though, because as soon as they do, it casts doubt on the integrity of the decision.

 

I was using the International Court in The Hague because recently in the Netherlands there was a - not very broad political - discussion about the costs. It were not so much the euro's I was talking about, or the costs itself, but more the time - and the euro's you spent on case A. which prevents to spend time and euro's on case B.

 

Spoken from the heart, I agree with the bolded part. However, when I still worked in journalism, for a while as the Political Editor for Intermediair (a magazine with 250.000 readers, mind you), I often encountered matters of which I thought: 'Hey! But that is not what the people voted for.' It is easy - as many journalists do - to start screaming and hollering about corrupt politics and soforth. But governing a state is trying to deal with compromises - and a lot of them. Again, from my own ideals I would have preferred to end the case till the end, conviction or not. But if I try to think from the viewpoint of goverment, I can understand the deal.

 

Just throwing in some counterweight, u know!


Edited by Nemo1965, 06 August 2014 - 12:33.


#809 ForeverF1

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Posted 06 August 2014 - 12:39

Whatever he's being paid, though, he's getting paid to make sure justice is done and seen to be done. If he suggests a deal whereby the defendant pays the state to drop the charges, in my book he hasn't earned his money. The other two alternatives were both better - either continue with the trial if there's a realistic prospect of a conviction, or stop the trial, thereby preventing any further public expense, if there isn't. I'm not ruling out the possibility that stopping the trial at this late stage was the right decision. If a witness changes his story, that can mean there's no alternative. They shouldn't accept money from the defendant to drop the charges, though, because as soon as they do, it casts doubt on the integrity of the decision.

Do you think, just for a moment, they would have stopped the trial if there was a realistic chance of a conviction?

 

That is exactly what they did.

 

Even though there is provision in the State Laws for just such an occasion.



#810 redreni

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Posted 06 August 2014 - 12:53

Do you think, just for a moment, they would have stopped the trial if there was a realistic chance of a conviction?

 

That is exactly what they did.

 

Even though there is provision in the State Laws for just such an occasion.

 

If it wasn't for the $100m, I wouldn't have had any doubts about the decision to stop the trial. I would still have been a bit suspicious as to why the key witness had suddenly changed his story, but I'd have been suspicious of Ecclestone, not the prosecutor or the court.

 

As it is, though, to answer your question, yes.

 

I think there might have been a realistic chance of a conviction. For the sake of argument, even a 10% chance is still a realistic chance of a conviction. But if there was a 90% chance of "failure" (as the prosecutor would see it), then he might well be tempted to settle, because even though I take the point that the prosecutors still get paid regardless, and they're not benefitting personally from this payment from Ecclestone, like any public body the prosecutor's office has to have conversations with the government about funding from time to time, and he will now be able to point to this payment and others like it and point out that it helps offset the cost of running his office and its activities. So it still counts as an inducement, and as such I am not convinced that the decision was made purely on the facts of the case.


Edited by redreni, 06 August 2014 - 12:55.


#811 ForeverF1

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Posted 06 August 2014 - 13:02

So, I guess you subscribe to the notion that he must be guilty because he is BE and put your opinion above the presiding Judge.



#812 CHIUNDA

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Posted 06 August 2014 - 14:00

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?


Especially considering that he was convicted by the same judge that has let Bernie free. How can the evidence that proved a guilty judgment now be inadequate. This says Bernie was going to be found guilty but exploited a loophole that Gribkowski COULD NOT AFFORD to exploit. The Judge's explanation in Bernie's case is just for the purpose of explaining his contradicting interpretation of the same evidence. It also allows Gribkowski a strong case to appeal his way out of jail.

#813 ensign14

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Posted 06 August 2014 - 14:14

It must also be remembered that there is a benefit in prosecutors sometimes losing.  Because otherwise you'd end up with a legal system like Japan's - 95% of those who plead not guilty are found guilty.  Which gives you two realistic possibilities:

 

1. the Japanese system is bent, and innocent people are found guilty;

 

2. Japanese prosecutors only go for the easy wins, and guilty people go around uncharged.

 

The third option is that Japanese prosecutors are pretty damn perfect.  They are not.


Edited by ensign14, 06 August 2014 - 14:15.


#814 scheivlak

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Posted 06 August 2014 - 14:17

Especially considering that he was convicted by the same judge that has let Bernie free. How can the evidence that proved a guilty judgment now be inadequate. This says Bernie was going to be found guilty but exploited a loophole that Gribkowski COULD NOT AFFORD to exploit. The Judge's explanation in Bernie's case is just for the purpose of explaining his contradicting interpretation of the same evidence. It also allows Gribkowski a strong case to appeal his way out of jail.

That's not true. Gribkowsky was sentenced for more reasons - tax evasion in the first place. His defence was that he was bribed.

If Ecclestone's bribery can't be proven the possibility that not BE but Gribkowsky was bribing remains intact and objectively gets even more plausible.

 

With his miserable performance as a witness Gribkowsky has dug himself a pretty deep hole.


Edited by scheivlak, 06 August 2014 - 14:24.


#815 redreni

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Posted 06 August 2014 - 14:19

So, I guess you subscribe to the notion that he must be guilty because he is BE and put yourself your opinion above the presiding Judge.

 

I didn't say he was guilty I said I think there might have been a realistic prospect of a conviction. Is he guilty? To establish that, we'd have needed a conclusion to the trial and a verdict, and as we didn't get that, we'll never know. That would still be my opinion regardless of who the defendant was. And yes, I'm disagreeing with the judge, not because I think I know more than him about the facts of the case, but on a very basic point of principle. It's only one person's opinion, but you'll notice I'm not the only one who thinks it's deeply inappropriate for a defendant to be able to pay to halt a trial at which he is charged with a serious crime.

 

As others have pointed out above, for a minor motoring offence or other low level matter, this procedure of having the defendant pay to stop the proceedings against him can be regarded as no less fair than a system of allowing people to pay a small fine in order to avoid prosecution, which is familiar in the UK or US. But that's on the basis that nearly everyone who is charged with those kind of offences pleads guilty anyway, and the payment the defendants make to avoid court proceedings is not too disimilar to the kind of punishment they might have expected had they pleaded guilty at trial. But for a serious crime where the liberty of the defendant is at stake, where (as in this case) it is clearly not in the public interest simply to let it slide, the decision whether to start or continue a prosecution has to depend on the prospects of getting a conviction. If it weren't for the $100m, I and, I suspect, most other people would have assumed that the decision had been made purely on that basis, and would have accepted it. For my money, it's the payment that casts doubt on the decision, and if the German prosecutors and judiciary expect to have their decisions respected and believed by the public, they should be more careful to avoid the appearance of impropriety.


Edited by redreni, 06 August 2014 - 14:23.


#816 ForeverF1

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Posted 06 August 2014 - 14:45

I didn't say he was guilty I said I think there might have been a realistic prospect of a conviction. Is he guilty? To establish that, we'd have needed a conclusion to the trial and a verdict, and as we didn't get that, we'll never know. That would still be my opinion regardless of who the defendant was. And yes, I'm disagreeing with the judge, not because I think I know more than him about the facts of the case, but on a very basic point of principle. It's only one person's opinion, but you'll notice I'm not the only one who thinks it's deeply inappropriate for a defendant to be able to pay to halt a trial at which he is charged with a serious crime.

 

As others have pointed out above, for a minor motoring offence or other low level matter, this procedure of having the defendant pay to stop the proceedings against him can be regarded as no less fair than a system of allowing people to pay a small fine in order to avoid prosecution, which is familiar in the UK or US. But that's on the basis that nearly everyone who is charged with those kind of offences pleads guilty anyway, and the payment the defendants make to avoid court proceedings is not too disimilar to the kind of punishment they might have expected had they pleaded guilty at trial. But for a serious crime where the liberty of the defendant is at stake, where (as in this case) it is clearly not in the public interest simply to let it slide, the decision whether to start or continue a prosecution has to depend on the prospects of getting a conviction. If it weren't for the $100m, I and, I suspect, most other people would have assumed that the decision had been made purely on that basis, and would have accepted it. For my money, it's the payment that casts doubt on the decision, and if the German prosecutors and judiciary expect to have their decisions respected and believed by the public, they should be more careful to avoid the appearance of impropriety.

 

Again, I ask whether, if there was the remotest chance of obtaining a conviction would the prosecuting counsel have the case stopped? It is my belief that they would not.

 

Deeply inappropriate it may be, but in this case the option was there, sanctioned by the laws of the state. Whether that law is correct or not is not really for this thread.

 

Obviously, by discontinuing the trial, the prospects of getting a conviction were none existent, ergo, the trial was stopped without a final judgement.



#817 ensign14

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Posted 06 August 2014 - 14:46

 

Obviously, the prospects of getting a conviction were none existent, ergo, the trial was stopped without a final judgement.

 

In which case, the German state has blackmailed Ecclestone out of 100m euro.  Mafiosi.



#818 ForeverF1

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Posted 06 August 2014 - 14:54

In which case, the German state has blackmailed Ecclestone out of 100m euro.  Mafiosi.

And so the circle revolves. :lol:



#819 beute

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Posted 06 August 2014 - 15:05

Whatever he's being paid, though, he's getting paid to make sure justice is done and seen to be done

 

 

But that's not true.

for example: there is nothing just about convicting someone for drug offenses.

 

 

He's paid to make sure man made (subjective) laws are upheld.

Hence why selling/buying drugs is punished.


Edited by ForeverF1, 06 August 2014 - 15:25.


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#820 Nemo1965

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Posted 06 August 2014 - 15:10

It must also be remembered that there is a benefit in prosecutors sometimes losing.  Because otherwise you'd end up with a legal system like Japan's - 95% of those who plead not guilty are found guilty.  Which gives you two realistic possibilities:

 

1. the Japanese system is bent, and innocent people are found guilty;

 

2. Japanese prosecutors only go for the easy wins, and guilty people go around uncharged.

 

The third option is that Japanese prosecutors are pretty damn perfect.  They are not.

 

There is a fourth option: a lot of Japanese accused take a guilty-plea, because they think it is wise, of because they want to end the case (the shame-dna is a little bit heavier in Japan. That leaves a small group of 'not-guilty'-pleas who are facing such a heavy sentence that it is worth the risk.

 

Do you have any numbers about that? I am very interested, because I used to work a court-room reporter for a while.

 

EDIT: I knew I had a pdf about Japan somewhere. Why Is the Japanese Conviction Rate So High?, by J. Ramseyer and Eric B. Rasmusen writes in the conclusion: First, Japanese prosecutors are
woefully understaffed.  Tied as they are to a severe budget constraint, one might expect them to try only the most obviously guilty.  Unbiased courts would then convict.  The conviction rate would
approach 100 percent, but only because most of the defendants were guilty. 

 

Coming back to Ecclestone-case one should say that in Japan probably never would have sat in court. (If anyone wants the PDF, I can sent it).

 

He's paid to make sure man made (subjective) laws are upheld.

Hence why selling/buying drugs is punished.

 

 

Beute: you've got a point there.


Edited by Nemo1965, 06 August 2014 - 15:27.


#821 ensign14

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Posted 06 August 2014 - 15:22

There is a fourth option: a lot of Japanese accused take a guilty-plea, because they think it is wise, of because they want to end the case (the shame-dna is a little bit heavier in Japan. That leaves a small group of 'not-guilty'-pleas who are facing such a heavy sentence that it is worth the risk.

 

That might work out differently for civil cases.  I don't know about Japan, but in China, with a similar level of "face", they are extremely keen on mediated settlements, so nobody loses out.  For criminal cases, obviously the state has the whip hand.



#822 redreni

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Posted 06 August 2014 - 16:10

Again, I ask whether, if there was the remotest chance of obtaining a conviction would the prosecuting counsel have the case stopped? It is my belief that they would not.

 

Deeply inappropriate it may be, but in this case the option was there, sanctioned by the laws of the state. Whether that law is correct or not is not really for this thread.

 

Obviously, by discontinuing the trial, the prospects of getting a conviction were none existent, ergo, the trial was stopped without a final judgement.

 

Fair enough. Normally I'd agree that decisions by prosecutors to pursue a case or not pursue a case, or drop a case halfway through a trial, are straight up and deserve our trust. Ultimately prosecutors are judged by how good they are at using their limited resources to secure meaningful convictions, especially for more serious offences, and you'd normally assume that if they had a realistic chance of convicting somebody for bribery they would pursue it, especially when they had already spent so much getting to the point they had reached.

 

But I think that where there's a special reason to think the decision wasn't straight up, we have to recognise that. The money's the only issue for me, other than that I'm in agreement with pretty much everything you've said.

 

Regardless of what I think, though, I don't think F1 can really go behind the German legal process. Ecclestone was on trial for a serious crime and now he isn't, so as far as F1 is concerned it's back to business and rightly so. Anyone who was hoping this case would give F1 a way of getting rid of the old man can forget it.



#823 Nustang70

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Posted 06 August 2014 - 20:29

In typical Ecclestone fashion, when BE makes out the check for the children's hospital, it'll come with a public announcement that this is a one-time deal and that the government will have to start kicking in more money to save it.  



#824 f1RacingForever

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Posted 06 August 2014 - 21:01

So to get out of bribery charges, bribing someone is all that is required? Makes sense. :lol:



#825 Shambolic

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Posted 06 August 2014 - 21:22

Again, I ask whether, if there was the remotest chance of obtaining a conviction would the prosecuting counsel have the case stopped? It is my belief that they would not.

 

 

But if there wasn't even a remote chance of obtaining a conviction, why would someone pay £60M to bring about a non judgement early ending? You can't have it both ways, it's a bit like cakes and eating.

 

The situation stinks, because Bernie wasn't found not guilty by a court, nor was he found guilty. He was found so immensely wealthy as to not have to go through a proper legal process in order to find exoneration or conviction. How in the name of any given deity is that justice?



#826 itsademo

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Posted 06 August 2014 - 21:35

what others mean is we want to win no matter what it costs others as in other parts of the world 

so when one wins because they were smarter even if it ended in giving others far more they object like money lenders as they lost out in the short term while they got more long term even in the short term is now and no fact about the long term right now and how much they benefited

I want more more more for less less less short sighted fools as they fail to see long term they think they lose all bills but fail to realise they gain nothing but sky bills 



#827 New Britain

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Posted 06 August 2014 - 22:57

But if there wasn't even a remote chance of obtaining a conviction, why would someone pay £60M to bring about a non judgement early ending? You can't have it both ways, it's a bit like cakes and eating.

 

The situation stinks, because Bernie wasn't found not guilty by a court, nor was he found guilty. He was found so immensely wealthy as to not have to go through a proper legal process in order to find exoneration or conviction. How in the name of any given deity is that justice?

 


 

But if there wasn't even a remote chance of obtaining a conviction, why would someone pay £60M to bring about a non judgement early ending?

 

 

Bingo.

 

£60m is a lot of money, even to Bernie. And let's not fall for that,"Oh, it was all so stressful, and such a distraction from my full-time responsibility of being the only person on earth who is capable of ruining, I mean running, Formula One, that I had no choice but to pay across that extortionate sum, even though I knew I would have been acquitted," crap.



#828 Petroltorque

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Posted 07 August 2014 - 06:54

I agree. Ecclestone settled the case the charge of Bribery was having an adverse affect on F1's perception and there is no such thing as a racing certainty in Law. Even with favourable odds he was unwilling to risk a conviction. His interview afterwards saying that he should not have settled in hindsight tells it all. People will now always be able to point at him and say 'Ah he settled though...' I know this is not the topic but it's time the sports' management is restructured. It's madness having one man arranging commercial deals, allocating team payments and having influence on technical and sporting regulations.

#829 ForeverF1

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Posted 07 August 2014 - 07:09

But if there wasn't even a remote chance of obtaining a conviction, why would someone pay £60M to bring about a non judgement early ending? You can't have it both ways, it's a bit like cakes and eating.

 

The situation stinks, because Bernie wasn't found not guilty by a court, nor was he found guilty. He was found so immensely wealthy as to not have to go through a proper legal process in order to find exoneration or conviction. How in the name of any given deity is that justice?

Remember, it is not up to BE to prove innocence, it is up to the prosecutors to find him guilty. They could not do that because Gribkowsky was unreliable resulting in no clear proof of guilt.

 

Yes it stinks if you have prejudged him to be guilty.

 

Ask yourself with honesty, regardless of age, would you rather spend the rest of your days traveling to and from Court or, if you could afford it, take the offer from the Court to end the process? Obviously, BE thought this to be the better option although he may be showing some contrition post trial.

 

The trial may, or may not, have been a sham but it was conducted under the law and therefore a proper legal process.

 

Was justice served? Not if you prejudge him guilty and from what I read here, that seems to apply to most.

 

Should this 'loophole' or clause 153a in German Law be closed? Yes, I believe it should, but, after saying that, whilst it in in effect it can be used.



#830 markeimas27

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Posted 07 August 2014 - 07:25

And so the circle revolves. :lol:

 

Mark Hanna: "Revolutions, you follow?
Jordan Belfort: Revolutions.
Mark Hanna: Keep the client on the ferris wheel, and it goes, the park is open twenty-four, seven, three, six, five. Every decade, every Goddamn century. That's it."

 

Mark Hanna: "Think about Teresa. Name of the game, move the money from your clients pocket into your pocket.
Jordan Belfort: Right. But if you can make the clients money at the same time, it's advantageous to everyone, correct?
Mark Hanna: No. Number one rule of Wall Street. Nobody, I don't care if you're Warren Buffet or if you're Jimmy Buffet, nobody knows if a stock is gonna go up, down, sideways or in ****ing circles, least of all stock brokers, right?"

 

It reminds of Wolf of Wall St. 



#831 Petroltorque

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Posted 07 August 2014 - 08:49

I don't think we're seeing the big picture here. I can't believe the German prosecution based their whole case on one dodgy witness. What about the forensic accounting? Did they follow the money or had they assumed Gibrowsky had his own personal printing press where he could exhume as many dead presidents as he wanted. That money came from somewhere and it came for a reason. The whole outcome is most unsatisfactory as we have yet to get to the truth. That's unlikely to happen unless we unearth a whistle blower. Cicero put it best; A state can withstand its fools and even the ambitious, but never treachery from within.

#832 ForeverF1

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Posted 07 August 2014 - 09:24

I don't think we're seeing the big picture here. I can't believe the German prosecution based their whole case on one dodgy witness. What about the forensic accounting? Did they follow the money or had they assumed Gibrowsky had his own personal printing press where he could exhume as many dead presidents as he wanted. That money came from somewhere and it came for a reason. The whole outcome is most unsatisfactory as we have yet to get to the truth. That's unlikely to happen unless we unearth a whistle blower. Cicero put it best; A state can withstand its fools and even the ambitious, but never treachery from within.

I would like to think that the German authorities are looking at the wider picture and, if they find unequivocal proof of guilt, they can, I believe, reopen the case against BE.

The case/trial was stopped in accordance with the law, not dismissed. That is the crux of my argument.



#833 Supertourer

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Posted 07 August 2014 - 10:41

I doubt it will be re-opened again, the case was based on the testimony of Gribkowsy who I believe was thought unreliable as a witness, hence why the prosecution offered the settlement. IMO


Edited by Supertourer, 07 August 2014 - 10:42.


#834 redreni

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Posted 07 August 2014 - 10:48

[snip]

 

Should this 'loophole' or clause 153a in German Law be closed? Yes, I believe it should, but, after saying that, whilst it in in effect it can be used.

 

Broadly I'd have to agree with that, at least at this stage of the proceedings. I can see how it might be a fair enough way of truncating the process and settling the matter amicably if a person is accused of a minor offence and hasn't yet entered a plea, or has pleaded guilty. But only if it's the sort of matter that might reasonably be dealt with by way of what is effectively a fine - littering, public nuisance, speeding etc. Not bribery. I gather it's highly unusual for this provision to be used in serious case like this. There's already provision in German law that a judge should not allow this provision to be used if it would be an affront to justice, in other words for very serious charges, which tells us that the judge does not regard bribery as very serious. So it's all very well to say "well, the loophole is there" because the judge didn't have to allow it to be used, and arguably it was never intended for this kind of case.

And regardless of the offence, once the defendant has pleaded not guilty, I can't see why the prosecution should have any option other than to either prove the defendant's guilt (conviction), fail to prove the defendant's guilt (acquital) or withdraw the charges off their own bat, based on their own assessment of the prospects of getting a conviction, without any outside encouragement or interference or payment from the defendant.



#835 ForeverF1

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Posted 07 August 2014 - 11:12

Well, serious comes in many guises, was the (alleged) offense serious in the world of financial dealings, yes I believe it was.

 

Was the (alleged) offense serious insomuch as being a danger to the public, No, I don't think it was.

 

I would expect the Judge to use his discretion on which he would allow that particular clause.



#836 Vitesse2

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Posted 07 August 2014 - 11:25

I doubt it will be re-opened again, the case was based on the testimony of Gribkowsy who I believe was thought unreliable as a witness, hence why the prosecution offered the settlement. IMO

This is really the crux of the matter. If a defence witness is unreliable then that is surely far less of a problem than if a prosecution witness is.

 

When I did jury service about 20 years ago one of the three cases I was on was stopped mid-trial by the judge when it became obvious that when being cross-examined the prosecution witnesses' statements to court agreed with neither the case the prosecuting counsel had made nor the statements of police officers who had been in attendance (which actually tallied almost exactly with the defence case!)



#837 Shambolic

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Posted 07 August 2014 - 11:46


Was justice served? Not if you prejudge him guilty and from what I read here, that seems to apply to most.

 

 

Justice is not bunging a court a shedload of cash in order to bypass an actual conclusion and resultant judgement.

 

I'm not saying Bernie is actually guilty of the charges against him in this instance, or in fact guilty of any criminality thus far uncharged. I might suspect it, but I cannot state it as fact. And now it would appear it cannot be stated as fact he is NOT guilty of at least one act, as the procedure required to reach that conclusion has been bought off.

 

If I was on trial for embezzlement, then would it be considered acceptable or even possible for me to hand over a thirtieth of my net worth in order to avoid the nuisance of having to attend court? And in doing so of course avoid that tiresome matter of a judgement? Note, I'm not asking "If I were charged with, and guilty of", but merely that I was on trial for said act, regardless of actual guilt status.

 

It's a matter of justice failing. It shows that the (admittedly naive) view that justice is impartial to gender, wealth, age, status, is little more than a facade. It shows that if you are immensely wealthy then innocent or guilty you can brush off the legal process as a trivial irritation. It sets an example to others who may actually be guilty, that they can continue to act crookedly as long as they've kept a few million to one side just in case.

 

I would far prefer to have seen Bernie's trial run through to its proper end and have him found not guilty, than have this travesty of loopholing.



#838 ForeverF1

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Posted 07 August 2014 - 11:58

Justice is not bunging a court a shedload of cash in order to bypass an actual conclusion and resultant judgement.

 

I'm not saying Bernie is actually guilty of the charges against him in this instance, or in fact guilty of any criminality thus far uncharged. I might suspect it, but I cannot state it as fact. And now it would appear it cannot be stated as fact he is NOT guilty of at least one act, as the procedure required to reach that conclusion has been bought off.

 

If I was on trial for embezzlement, then would it be considered acceptable or even possible for me to hand over a thirtieth of my net worth in order to avoid the nuisance of having to attend court? And in doing so of course avoid that tiresome matter of a judgement? Note, I'm not asking "If I were charged with, and guilty of", but merely that I was on trial for said act, regardless of actual guilt status.

 

It's a matter of justice failing. It shows that the (admittedly naive) view that justice is impartial to gender, wealth, age, status, is little more than a facade. It shows that if you are immensely wealthy then innocent or guilty you can brush off the legal process as a trivial irritation. It sets an example to others who may actually be guilty, that they can continue to act crookedly as long as they've kept a few million to one side just in case.

 

I would far prefer to have seen Bernie's trial run through to its proper end and have him found not guilty, than have this travesty of loopholing.

For the first part, BE did not 'bung' the court a shedload of cash to end the trial. The offer to end or stop the trial was made by the prosecuting counsel. BE accepted this offer, then paid a shedload of cash.

 

Second part, I agree with you, but, having reached a stalemate where the prosecution could not continue, what to do then, let it drag on and on in forlorn hope that that something will change?



#839 redreni

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Posted 07 August 2014 - 12:20

[snip]

 

I'm not saying Bernie is actually guilty of the charges against him in this instance, or in fact guilty of any criminality thus far uncharged. I might suspect it, but I cannot state it as fact. And now it would appear it cannot be stated as fact he is NOT guilty of at least one act, as the procedure required to reach that conclusion has been bought off.

 

[snip]

 

Normally, this kind of statement annoys me no end. Generally speaking, if the prosecution withdraws a charge, the defendant should be regarded as innocent, just as much as if he had been tried and acquitted. Otherwise it's deeply unfair on the defendant, who is denied the ability to clear his name by the actions of the prosecution.

This case is a bit different, though, because if Ecclestone had wanted to clear his name, he could have kept his money in his pocket, argued his case and waited for the verdict. He chose not to do that so he has to live with the fact that his name has not been cleared.



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#840 redreni

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Posted 07 August 2014 - 12:24

For the first part, BE did not 'bung' the court a shedload of cash to end the trial. The offer to end or stop the trial was made by the prosecuting counsel. BE accepted this offer, then paid a shedload of cash.

 

Second part, I agree with you, but, having reached a stalemate where the prosecution could not continue, what to do then, let it drag on and on in forlorn hope that that something will change?

 

Here we go, round again. If the prosecution couldn't continue, then it shouldn't waste any more time and money, it should stop. But in that case it also shouldn't deprive an old man of his cash, thereby giving the appearance that the process may be crooked and giving people reason to believe that the defendant might be guilty (otherwise why would he pay).



#841 Supertourer

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Posted 07 August 2014 - 12:46


 

It's a matter of justice failing. It shows that the (admittedly naive) view that justice is impartial to gender, wealth, age, status, is little more than a facade. It shows that if you are immensely wealthy then innocent or guilty you can brush off the legal process as a trivial irritation. It sets an example to others who may actually be guilty, that they can continue to act crookedly as long as they've kept a few million to one side just in case.

 

 

 

Sadly this is the way of things, you 'buy' the best justice you can afford. In the UK we have a lawyer known as Mr Loophole that represents all the celebs and such like that are charged with motoring offences, using his knowledge of loopholes and legal technicalities to clear them of all charges - as a rule. One example of which was getting comedian Jimmy Carr cleared from talking on a mobile phone while driving, by showing he was using the phone as a dictaphone to record a joke! Apparently this was not illegal!

 

According to the Daily Express, his fees are £10,000 per day.....out of reach to us lesser mortals

 

 

 


Edited by Supertourer, 07 August 2014 - 12:48.


#842 ForeverF1

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Posted 07 August 2014 - 13:08

Here we go, round again. If the prosecution couldn't continue, then it shouldn't waste any more time and money, it should stop. But in that case it also shouldn't deprive an old man of his cash, thereby giving the appearance that the process may be crooked and giving people reason to believe that the defendant might be guilty (otherwise why would he pay).

I fully agree that it is a circular argument. This is exactly what they did do.

 

Depriving an 'old man' of his cash - yeah right. :)

 

Whether the process is crooked or not, it is within the applicable law in force even though the law may be an ass.

 

The outcome of the trial may not have reached everyone's hopes and expectations although it does taint BE with suspicion. This is nothing new for him.

 

Lets just suppose, for a moment, that BE was acquitted, found to be not guilty of the alleged charge of bribery, what to do then with Gribkowsky? A retrial, leaving out the bribery charge, centering only on his abuse of the position as a State Official, costing the State yet more expense?



#843 Lee Nicolle

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Posted 09 August 2014 - 00:16

So to get out of bribery charges, bribing someone is all that is required? Makes sense. :lol:

My thoughts too 100%. Only works though for the mega rich. 100m for Bernie is about like 10k for 99% of us.



#844 pdac

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Posted 09 August 2014 - 00:50

So now to the next round - BayernLB have rejected an offer of a 25m euro settlement from BE. Will they now be taking him to court?



#845 oetzi

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Posted 09 August 2014 - 00:59

Well they know he'll pay €100m now, so why would they take 25?



#846 black magic

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Posted 09 August 2014 - 01:10

well the english court already desribed ecclestone as a very dubious witness, effectively a liar.

 

there are many instances in law where it comes down to he said/ she said and the court has to decide.

 

I also find it enlightening how even though the discussion is to the validity of the decvision, fact is no one on this forum is celibrating the victory of the man who at one time was regarded as the saviour/ maker of f1

 

it also but one example of the real reality that its not the gap in incomes that is the problem but that the super rich get to live by different rules, diferent morality. there may not be a conspiracy but there might as well be one.



#847 oetzi

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Posted 09 August 2014 - 01:12

On another note, no actual harm was done if Bernie did pay the bribe. If they only harm in a case is loss of money by an entity that has so much money that the money lost would not be noticed if it was an accounting error, then I don't see why paying money to make the charge go away (not that I'm saying this happened) is a bad thing. Nor would be simply paying a fine and walking away.

 

It's only money.



#848 oetzi

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Posted 09 August 2014 - 01:14

 there may not be a conspiracy but there might as well be one.

On the subject of which, seeing as the money he may or may not have paid to/cost people doesn't exist in any physical or redeemable form, couldn't he just give them all a lot of pixels and everything would be squared with everyone?


Edited by oetzi, 09 August 2014 - 01:17.


#849 Risil

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Posted 09 August 2014 - 11:04

I suppose the big question now is whether CVC's succession plans are far enough along that they can't be stopped. Whether secret deals have been struck, hands shaken in back rooms, myriad VPs pencilled in. Trial or no trial doesn't change the fact that Ecclestone's leadership in the last 12 months has been catastrophic.



#850 Amphicar

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Posted 09 August 2014 - 11:04

There are of course many bizarre aspects to this grubby business but what I find truly weird is:

1) Gribkowsky was convicted of accepting a bribe

2) There is no dispute that the money in question was paid by Bernie Ecclestone - he himself has admitted it

3) In the Constantin damages trial in the UK, the Judge concluded that BCE had made a corrupt deal and that he had bribed Gribkowsky. He also described BCE as "not reliable or truthful".

4) Despite this background, there is apparently not sufficient evidence to be certain of convicting BCE of paying a bribe to Gribkowsky

I find this baffling - the only way I can see that BCE did not pay a bribe is in some kind of Quantum world where the money paid is simultaneously a bribe and not a bribe.

Perhaps it is as well I never wanted to be a banker - or a lawyer!