Ecclestone upbeat as case begins

Bernie Ecclestone, the 83-year-old controlling business magnate in Formula One racing, waits for the first day of his trial for bribery.Photo / Getty Images
Bernie Ecclestone, the 83-year-old controlling business magnate in Formula One racing, waits for the first day of his trial for bribery.Photo / Getty Images

Despite the gravity of bribery allegations against him, as well as his 83 years, Bernie Ecclestone was able to retain his sense of humour as he arrived in Room 101 for his trial.

When asked about his prospects by a swarm of reporters outside the Munich courtroom, he said: "I'm confident the sun is shining."

Pulling up in a Mercedes - the irony will not be lost on many, given that it is parent company Daimler's compliance concerns that could push Formula One's impresario out of the sport - Ecclestone said he was "grateful" for the opportunity to clear his name.

His legal team took four hours to read a personal statement.

Ecclestone denies the charges that he paid a bribe of US$44 million ($51.3 million) to German banker Gerhard Gribkowsky to help safeguard his supremacy within Formula One when the sport was sold to CVC Capital Partners in 2006.

Ecclestone faces a 10-year jail sentence possible if he is found guilty.

- Daily Telegraph UK

Get the news delivered straight to your inbox

Receive the day’s news, sport and entertainment in our daily email newsletter

SIGN UP NOW

© Copyright 2016, NZME. Publishing Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production apcf04 at 30 Jun 2016 19:50:23 Processing Time: 566ms