Formula 1 News

Bernie Ecclestone to stand trial on bribery charges

Bernie Ecclestone

Formula 1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone could face up to a decade in jail after being ordered to stand trial in a Munich court to answer bribery charges.

In a statement confirming the trial the court said, “Under current planning, the main trial should start in late April.”

Ecclestone has stood down from the Formula One Group board of directors but will continue his daily operations with F1 while the trial is underway.

A statement from the F1 board reads in part: “It is in the best interests of both the F1 business and the sport that Mr Ecclestone should continue to run the business on a day-to-day basis, but subject to increased monitoring and control.”

The statement later added: “Mr Ecclestone has reassured the Board that he is innocent of the charges and intends to vigorously defend the case.”

The bribery claims relate to the sale of Formula 1 to CVC Capaital Partners in 2006, where it is alleged Ecclestone paid off former banker Gerhard Gribkowsky to ensure a smooth transaction.

Gribkowsky is currently serving an eight-and-a-half year jail term for his part in that deal, being found guilty of accepting a bribe.

[Source: Reuters & SMH | Pic: Reuters/Olivia Harris]

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