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Schumacher could lose car if F1 boss corrupt

The Local · 27 Jun 2012, 11:26

Published: 27 Jun 2012 11:26 GMT+02:00

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The Stuttgart-based auto maker “immediately investigates immoral or corrupt practices of staff or on the side of business partners,” a spokeswoman said on Tuesday.

As 60 percent owner of the Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula 1 team which has Schumacher and Nico Rosberg driving its cars, Daimler is currently very much in business with Formula 1 manager Ecclestone.

German prosecutors are investigating him on suspicion of bribery. Chief prosecutor Christoph Rodler told a court on Tuesday, “Ecclestone was not the victim of blackmail, rather a co-perpetrator in bribery.”

The prosecutor was speaking in the closing phase of a case against a banker accused of taking a $44 million bribe from Ecclestone to ensure his bank sold a major share in Formula 1 rights to Ecclestone’s favoured candidate.

The Handelsblatt newspaper noted on Tuesday that Daimler’s own operating rules could force it to consider withdrawing from the sport. Laurenz Schmitt from Linklaters law firm told the paper it was an “awkward” situation.

Sylvia Schenk, chairwoman of corruption watchdog Transparency International called for Daimler to take action.

The Daimler spokeswoman said, “We support the explanation of the new allegations in Formula 1. We are awaiting the analysis of the authorities.”

She said compliance was of central importance to Daimler.

Former risk manager at the Bayern Landesbank Gerhard Gribkowsky admitted taking the bribe after months of silence before the Munich court hearing the case. His admission seriously implicated Ecclestone.

This had resulted in around 40 witnesses being called, including Ecclestone. He then admitted paying Gribkowsky the money, but said it was a case of blackmail –that the banker had been threatening to give sensitive information to the British tax office.

But on Tuesday the prosecutor in the Gribkowsky case told the court, “Ecclestone was not the victim of blackmail, rather a co-perpetrator in bribery.”

Story continues below…

Prosecutor Christoph Rodler said the allegations of bribery and tax evasion against Gribkowsky were proven. He had, “not received a consultant fee, rather bribery payments” from Ecclestone, he said.

The prosecutor is already investigating Ecclestone on suspicion of bribery.

DPA/DAPD/The Local/hc

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

12:34 June 27, 2012 by iseedaftpeople
Schumacher should have just stayed in retirement.

He was looking back on an F1 career that was simply outstanding. He should have just left it at that.
22:16 June 27, 2012 by coffeelover
Yes #1 commenter, he should have enjoyed the many years of accolades still to come, if he stayed retired. Now I fear he may be doing himself a disservice by thinking he still has it. Like Brett Favre from the NFL, sometimes athletes stay too long, I know the attention is hard to let go of. Bernie on the other hand, has stayed in control for far, far too many years and now could bring F1's reputation down with him. Been hearing rumors over the 'net for awhile about his dealings.
23:28 June 27, 2012 by raandy
Can't think of any accolades for a guy who run his own team mates off the track and stole his best friends girl. Ya, great guy.
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