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Ecclestone fights to keep $650m bribe case out of US courts

Apr 10, 2013, 9:55 AM EDT

SKI-WORLD-AUT-MEN-DOWNHILL

Bernie Ecclestone is fighting to keep his latest court case from being tried in the United States.

Bluewater Communications Holdings accuses Ecclestone of costing it $650 million by paying a $44million bribe to German banker Gerhard Gribkowsky in 2006 to secure F1’s sale to CVC Capital Partners, its current owners.

Bluewater claimed in November it should have won the bid for F1 as its offer was “10 percent above any genuine bona fide offer put forward by any other competing buyer”.

Ecclestone claims the fact his payment to Gribkowsky was paid in dollars, from a Swiss bank to an Austrian bank, does not give US courts jurisdiction over the case.

Nor, he added, does Bluewater’s claim their losses were partly inflicted in the state of New York.

“His claim is an absurd claim,” said Ecclestone of the case last year. “He didn’t know that the other bidders were going to pay.”

Gribkowsky was sentenced to eight-and-a-half years in jail in June last year for accepting the bribe from Ecclestone. The 82-year-old president and CEO of Formula One Management remains under investigation in Germany but has not been charged.

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