Ecclestone trial ends

Bernie Ecclestone in Eur 75m settlementA Munich court has agreed to cancel bribery charges against Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone after his defence offered a Eur 75m settlement to end the trial.
"The proceedings will be temporarily suspended with the agreement of the prosecution and the accused," pending payment of the settlement, judge Peter Noll was quoted as saying. Mr Ecclestone started his trial in Munich in April over allegations that he bribed Gerhard Gribkowsky, a former German banker, as part of the sale of a share in the F1 business eight years ago.

The trial could have resulted in the F1 owner facing up to 10 years in jail and the prospect of losing the business which he helped build over the last few decades.
Under German law, judges, prosecutors and the defence can agree to dismiss a case or settle it with a light punishment, although terms for such an agreement are strictly defined.

Mr Ecclestone claims he was the victim of coercion by Gribkowsky and that the ex-banker was threatening to make damaging claims about his tax affairs that could have cost him and his family much of their fortune.


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