Aug.1 (Inautonews.com/GMM) Banned former F1 chief Flavio Briatore has been named as being also involved in the Gerhard Gribkowsky bribery affair.

The Italian, a friend and business partner of Bernie Ecclestone, was reportedly involved in the F1 chief executive’s payment of millions to jailed German banker Gribkowsky.

The Seddeutsche Zeitung newspaper said Briatore, as well as a Swiss lawyer, helped Ecclestone get the money to Gribkowsky via a web of shell companies and fake consultancy contracts.

And the report said four of Ecclestone’s lawyers – three in Geneva and one in London – have been subject to searches by prosecutors.

The 80-year-old has said he was effectively blackmailed by Gribkowsky and argued that the amount paid to the former BayernLB risk manager was much less than $44m.

APA news agency said the prosecutors have declined to comment on the latest reports.