Lawyer says Ecclestone 'available' for corruption probe

By on Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Mar.22 (GMM) Bernie Ecclestone is reportedly "happy" to make himself "available as a witness" as German prosecutors investigate a corruption scandal.

Banker Gerhard Gribkowsky is detained in Munich, accused of receiving $50 million that some German media suspect was paid by F1's chief executive amid the sale of the sport five years ago.

Ecclestone has denied the accusations of bribery and, according to his German lawyer Sven Thomas, is willing to assist the investigation, a report in the Suddeutsche Zeitung claims.

The report also quoted Ecclestone's lawyer as saying the 80-year-old is willing to "testify as a witness".

At the same time, the Telegraph in London claims Ecclestone has been cleared of wrongdoing by a separate investigation instigated by F1's owner CVC.

The investigation was conducted by external auditors and Ecclestone commented: "That has all gone on and they haven't found anything (wrong)."

The Briton acknowledged, however, that CVC wishes "all this with Gerhard hadn't have happened" even though the private equity firm "isn't looking at selling" its majority stake of the sport.

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