Key witness fails to show at F1 bribe trial

16 November, 2011

(L to R): Bernie Ecclestone (GBR) F1 Supremo and Dr Gerhard Gribkowsky, the majority shareholder of SLEC holdings.

Bernie Ecclestone with Gerhard Gribkowsky

Nov.16 (GMM) Formula 1′s corruption scandal has taken a fresh twist this week.

The Financial Times reports that Stephen Mullens, Bernie Ecclestone’s long-term deputy who left formula one a month ago, has failed to appear in Munich as a witness during the bribery trial of Gerhard Gribkowsky.

He was due to give evidence on Tuesday.

“The court was told Mr Mullens was using his right not to have to answer questions that might cause him to incriminate himself,” read the media report.

F1 chief executive Ecclestone, who like Mullens is a defendant in a separate civil claim brought by former F1 co-owner Constantin Medien, testified in Munich last week.

“Mr Gribkowsky was quite sophisticated in shaking me down,” said the 81-year-old. “I’ve got shaken down by a lot of people, but not as subtle as with Mr Gribkowsky.”

It is rumoured Mullens might have contradicted Ecclestone’s claims.

Ecclestone told the court last week that his relationship with Mullens “deteriorated a little while ago”.

“From what the prosecutor said … his (Mullens’) testimony may well contradict that of Ecclestone,” wrote Telegraph correspondent Tom Cary last Thursday.


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