Did you notice the Irony? (16) Bernie Ecclestone

Formula-1 boss Bernie Ecclestone faced charges of corruption, specifically of having paid bribes. The recipient of the bribes Gerhard Gribkowsky had confessed to the charges. He had been working for a bank which was majority-owned by the State of Bavaria.

"Yes, I always want to stand trial in Munich from now on. I like it here."

“Yes, I always want to stand trial in Munich from now on. I like it here.”

Now Mr Ecclestone had to stand trial before a court of the same State of Bavaria in Germany. Apparently he thought: “What worked once, may work again.” He offered yet another bribe to the State of Bavaria. 100 million dollars. Directly this time, without any intermediaries like Mr Gribkowsky. The State of Bavaria accepted and expressed its gratitude. The trial is over.

Now I understand the real reason why the trial had been referred to as a “bribery trial” from the beginning. I had completely misunderstood that at first.

(Zur deutschen Fassung.)

About Andreas Moser

Travelling the world and writing about it. I have degrees in law and philosophy, but I'd much rather be a journalist, a spy or a hobo.
This entry was posted in German Law, Germany, Law and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Did you notice the Irony? (16) Bernie Ecclestone

  1. Pingback: Ist das nicht ironisch? (9) Bernie Ecclestone | Der reisende Reporter

  2. Tim says:

    What really struck me in the article was the following sentence: ‘Einstellungen von Verfahren nach Paragraf 153a wie im Fall Ecclestone würden jeden Tag in Deutschland “tausendfach” beschlossen.’ This was probably supposed to be reassuring, but I actually found it alarming! What’s your view of this as a legal professional: Is this fundamentally a valid legal mechanism which has been abused in this case, or are Einstellungen von Verfahren nach Paragraf 153a inherently objectionable?

    • I see a few general problem there.

      – It gives an incentive to the prosecution to bring charges in cases in which they themselves doubt whether they can get a conviction, but the defendant will have to pay that much for lawyers and lose that much time by being on trial every day that he/she will sooner or later give up and rather pay to put an end to trial, which might otherwise go on for years.

      – Defendants who don’t have (enough) money, don’t have that option.

      – The judge who consents to these deals reduces his/her workload and earns a lot of easy money for his State. Even worse, the judge may also order that part of the money goes to some charity, which might be one dear to his/her heart or the one where his wife/husband sits on the board.

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