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German authorities ‘seeking scapegoat’ over banking affair

Bernie Ecclestone suggests that German banker Gerhard Gribkowsky is being made a scapegoat by authorities
Bernie Ecclestone has claimed that German authorities are using Gerhard Gribkowsky, the banker at the centre of investigation into claims of bribery following the sale of shares in F1, as a scapegoat thanks to heavy losses incurred by the bank BayernLB.

Ecclestone is reportedly being lined up for questining by prosecutors in Germany, who are investigating if Gribkowksy undervalued shares in F1 when they were sold to current owners CVC back in 2006.

Media speculation in Germany has suggested that Ecclestone himself paid Gribkowsky $50 million as part of a bribe to help the sale go through, although that claim has always been strenuously denied by the commercial rights holder himself.

Ecclestone has so far remained silent on the whole affair, but has now spoken to Pitpass about the ongoing situation.

In conversation with business editor Chris Sylt, Ecclestone suggest that 'German authorities have singled out Gribkowsky since they are looking for a scapegoat from Bayern after it made heavy losses'. Gribkowsky was fired by the bank in 2008 after it lost money following the collapse of the American subprime mortgage market and after a poor investment in an Austrian banking group.

"I think there is more there than meets the eye," Ecclestone said, adding "that bank has been involved in all sorts of funny things over a period and I think they are just looking for someone."



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