Ecclestone: I answered truthfully

Friday 21-February-2014 08:14

Bernie Ecclestone insists he was both reliable and truthful during his High Court case despite the judge saying otherwise.

On Thursday, the F1 supremo escaped paying Constantin Medien $144 million after judge Guy Newey ruled that there was "no loss to Constantin" through Ecclestone's "corrupt arrangement" with jailed German banker Gerhard Gribkowsky.

But while Ecclestone may have saved a few dollars, the verdict on the 83-year-old's character was damning.

Not only did Judge Newey stated that Ecclestone had entered a "corrupt agreement", he believed the payment to Gribkowsky during the sale of F1 to CVC was "a bribe."

He added that he finds it "impossible to regard him (Ecclestone) as a reliable or truthful witness."

However, Ecclestone insists he was both reliable and truthful.

"He's come up with an opinion, he thought I didn't tell the truth and I wasn't reliable. I was reliable because I turned up on time. I think I answered truthfully the questions I was asked," he told Reuters.

The F1 supremo also again denied that he paid a bribe to Gribkowsky.

"An awful lot of money to pay to somebody to keep your job.

"I've said he shook me down a bit. And I was a bit stupid to go along with it. It was cheaper to pay him ... than have the revenue (the tax authorities) climb all over me for three or four years when I had to prove something that he'd said didn't happen."

But while this case may be over, Ecclestone now faces bribery charges in Germany with that set to begin in April.

For now, though, he remains the man at the helm of F1 although no longer in charge having stepping down from the board.

"I'm still running the business, as I've always run it," he added.

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