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BayernLB rejects $33m settlement from Bernie Ecclestone

Aug 9, 2014, 9:15 AM EDT

Formula One Chief Executive Bernie Ecclestone arrives at the High Court in central London in this file photo Reuters

The German bank at the centre of Bernie Ecclestone’s bribery trial has rejected a settlement offered by the 83-year-old following the end of court proceedings earlier this week, according to reports.

Ecclestone was accused of bribing banker Gerhard Gribkowsky to influence the sale of Formula 1 back in 2005, but the case came to a close after he made a $100m payment to the court as permitted by German law.

The case ended with no conviction, meaning that Ecclestone remains in charge at the top of the sport. He immediately returned to work on the same day that the case ended.

However, a settlement offer of $33m made to BayernLB by Ecclestone was rejected on Friday, as confirmed to Reuters by a spokesperson for the bank.

Neither party has made further comment on the matter, but it could lead to BayernLB taking more civil proceedings against the Briton. The more likely resolution would be for an increased offer to be made and accepted, given that the bribery trial proceedings have now come to a close.

Ecclestone has said that he feels like “a bit of an idiot” for settling the matter with the German court earlier this week.

“They really didn’t have a case,” he told the BBC. “The judge more or less said I was acquitted, 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 content – it’s all fine. This now allows me to do what I do best, which is running F1.”

  1. urallstupid - Aug 9, 2014 at 9:54 AM

    i mean ya that’s exactly what anyone would have done. paid 100m to settle a case where the prosecutors “didnt really have a case”.

    • barrylibby - Aug 9, 2014 at 11:41 AM

      In most cases a settlement is done to mitigate the potential cost of continuing
      in legal fees bad PR etc..
      Has anyone ever heard of offering a settlement that is more than original amount?
      Usually a settlement offer is lower to appeal to plaintive ego and they can say I won !
      Seems maybe the bank in question has and sees it as a good thing of them to continue and say the won!
      May they hose the toad!

  2. techmeister1 - Aug 9, 2014 at 11:42 AM

    This is a true travesty of justice when a criminal can buy his way out of prison because he made billions from an illegal bribe he paid decades ago. He should lose ALL of the revenue derived from the illegal bribe, be fined an additional $100 Million and spend 10 years in prison like any other criminal would do for such crimes. It’s unthinkable that the German courts allowed Bernie to buy his way out of prison.

    • manik56 - Aug 9, 2014 at 6:11 PM

      He bribed them into dropping the bribery charges and it was legal. How awesome is that?

  3. worknman24hours - Aug 10, 2014 at 5:47 AM

    The bank who refused the settlement offer is run by total morons.

    May they pump money into their lawyers and get nothing from Bernie or his company.

    The weakness of the case allowed Bernie to stop the trial by settlement already.

    The settlement amount does not matter.

    Had the case been valid enough to warrant continuing,it would have continued.

    The banks lawyers have not represented the weakness of their case against Bernie properly to their client and deserve to be brought before the bar that represents them for their error.

    The bank may well get a big fat zero now as long as Bernie keeps his mouth shut about this.

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