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Bribe charges “a complete load of rubbish” – Ecclestone

May 20, 2013, 10:00 AM EDT

File photo of F1 chief Ecclestone testifying at district court in Munich Reuters

Bernie Ecclestone has rubbished the charges of bribery being levelled at him in Germany.

Ecclestone told his biographer Tom Bower in an interview for the Sunday Times: “I still don’t know what the German prosecutors think.”

“I wish I was guilty – it would be much easier,” he added. “The charges are a complete load of rubbish.”

A German court is investigating allegations Ecclestone bribed banker Gerhard Gribkowsky in 2006. Gribkowsky was convicted for taking the bribe last year and the court is set to announce its findings on Ecclestone, which could have major ramifications for Formula One.

Ecclestone told the newspaper: “I’m innocent.”

“I’m British, I pay my taxes and, in the end, the truth will come out.”

Ecclestone says he made payment to Gribkowsky to prevent him making false claims about his business affairs which could attract the attention of the British tax authorities.

“I offered him £11m ($16.71),” Ecclestone admitted. “I would save over £2bn ($3.04bn) in taxes, so it was cheap. Gerhard said he’d settle for £50m ($75.97): the final deal with £44m ($66.85).”

Ecclestone testified at Gribkowsky’s trial (pictured) during which Andre Favre, an aide of Ecclestone’s, said he was told to pay $5m to Gribkowsky “using a special company so his name wouldn’t appear”.