Formula One CEO Bernie Ecclestone Asks To 'Go Back On' Evidence In High Court
F1 CEO BERNIE ECCLESTONE asked on Friday to "go back on" some of the evidence he had given to the High Court on Thursday in his $140M damages lawsuit as he was accused of "lying repeatedly," according to Tom Cary of the London TELEGRAPH. On another tense day of cross-examination, which produced some heated exchanges between 83-year-old Ecclestone, who is a co-defendant in the suit, and PHILIP MARSHALL, representing Constantin Medien, Ecclestone said that he had not had sufficient time to prepare himself and had been "in a hurry" when giving evidence on Thursday. Giving evidence for a third straight day on Friday, Ecclestone said that "he had not had time to look through all the documents properly." Ecclestone told Marshall, "Yesterday I was in rather a hurry. You've had months and months and months to look through all the documents and pick out points. I've been in lots of different countries and done lots and lots of miles on aeroplanes and I haven't had the opportunity to do that. Now I'm going to have. I don't care if this takes until the end of the year. I will look at everything now." Later, Ecclestone repeated the point when addressing the judge, GUY NEWEY, saying that he had been "in a hurry yesterday and made some answers which I'd like to go back on if I have the opportunity" (TELEGRAPH, 11/8). In London, Owen Gibson wrote Marshall put it to Ecclestone that he had blocked other potential bidders from conducting due diligence on F1 at a time when banker GERHARD GRIBKOWSKY's Bayern LB bank "was considering selling its stake but actively encouraged CVC to bid and guided them on how much to pay." It was claimed that "Ecclestone brushed off rival approaches for BayernLB's 47% stake from Hutchison Whampoa and Rothschild Group, among others, in favour of CVC's bid." Ecclestone, throughout his three days giving evidence, has insisted that he "did not care who owned the company." Ecclestone: "It's a fact. I've said for two days running I wasn't the slightest bit bothered who owned the shares. I run it." Lawyers representing Ecclestone have outlined their case to the judge in written arguments and said the claim "lacks any merit" and "is an artificial, manufactured complaint." The "trial continues" (GUARDIAN, 11/8).