mario wrote:There hasn't really been that much of a clamour for a London GP because there is the British GP at Silverstone, even if interest in Formula 1 is quite high at the moment (although the deal between Sky and the BBC has had a negative impact on the viewing figures for some races, so that may eat into the current interest in the sport). The last private consortium that tried to organise a London GP went bankrupt because nobody was interested in funding the event, and given that both public and private finances are already strained due to the Olympics, I question whether there would be that much financial support for the event from external bodies.
Bernie has been interested in a London Grand Prix for years now. And he clearly thinks that demand is there. After all, 400,000 people saw the demonstration run on the streets in 2004, which is about twice as many people as attend the British Grand Prix. He admits he came close to a deal with the City of Westminster a few years ago, but the cost made it impossible. He probably figures that if he can put up the money - or at least part of it - and make most, if not all of it, back.
Captain Hammer wrote:If that were the case, given that recent anti-corruption measures (mostly targeted towards the construction sector, but covering other areas as well) give the UK Government the power to prosecute any UK citizen involved in acts of corruption abroad, would that not see the Crown Prosecution Service rather than the Inland Revenue getting involved given that we would be moving into the realm of a criminal investigation?
Until we know the exact details, we can only speculate. I'm guessing that whatever Gribkowsky threatened to go to Inland Revenue with was questionable, but not necessarily illegal. If they got involved, Bernie would likely come out unscathed, but the inconvenience of the whole investigation - which would undoubtedly take a long time to be concluded - would slow down the growth of the sport. That is probably where the real threat lay, rather than the fear of criminal prosecution.
Captain Hammer wrote:Besides, the recent details suggest something with greater personal repercussions for Bernie, as Gribkowsky was reportedly planning to go to the Inland Revenue with details about the trust fund, the Bambino Trust, and its relationship with Bernie (officially, Slavica, Bernie's former wife, was in control of the trust, not Bernie, but it has been suggested that Gribkowsky had evidence to show that wasn't the case).
Gribkowsky isn't the most credible witness in the world. Anything that he says is tainted by the way Bernie testified against him. If the prosecutors want to press charges against Bernie, they're going to need more than Gribkowsky's word. Any competent defence lawyer would be able to discredit Gribkowsky in the space of two minutes.