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Witness backs bribery claims in Ecclestone F1 trial

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Mark Webber, Ron Walker, Bernie Ecclestone and Daniel Ricciardo
Mark Webber, Ron Walker, Bernie Ecclestone and Daniel Ricciardo
Witness backs bribery claims in Ecclestone F1 trial

Mark Webber, Ron Walker, Bernie Ecclestone and Daniel Ricciardo

Bernie Ecclestone’s bribery trial appeared to turn a darker corner on Tuesday.

Last week in Munich, the F1 chief executive’s fate appeared brighter, when the man whom Ecclestone allegedly bribed did not seem to clearly back the prosecutors’ claims.

But when Gerhard Gribkowsky testified again on Tuesday, his latest tune was not as sweet for 83-year-old Ecclestone, who faces losing control of F1 and jail if ultimately found guilty.

Gribkowsky, then an employee for a state-controlled bank and therefore a public official, admitted what he was promised by Ecclestone influenced his behaviour.

“Of course I was aware at that moment that I mentally moved to a certain extent to the side of Mr Ecclestone,” he told the court, according to Bloomberg.

“I grabbed the carrot. Afterwards, I didn’t negotiate with the same toughness I had until then,” added Gribkowsky, referring to the sale of BayernLB’s commercial stake in F1.

Ecclestone’s lawyer told the court he was “surprised” by Gribkowsky’s apparent U-turn on Tuesday.

“We have to wait how many versions will still emerge and what we make of them,” lawyer Norbert Scharf later told reporters.

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