Munich court confirms that motor sport chief will pay $100m settlement to end his trial for allegedly bribing German banker
The Formula One boss, Bernie Ecclestone, is finally going to put an end to his trial on bribery charges by making a payment of $100m (£60m). The news has been confirmed from a district court in Munich. 83 year old Ecclestone has been on trial since April. He was accused of bribing a former German banker as part of the sale of a major stake in the motorsport business almost eight years ago. Though there have been instances where the German law has allowed for some criminal cases to be solved by lesser punishments such as fines, but this sum has raised questions that the system favors wealthy defendants.
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As stated by the Munich court, $99m is going to be paid to the German treasury and an additional sum of $1m would be paid to a German children's hospice charity. The trial will be put to an end after the payment is made within the next week. Shedding some light on the trial, the CEO of Formula One was accused of paying the former Bayern LB chief risk officer Gerhard Gribkowsky $44m in 2006. The payment was made in order to ease the sale of the bank's share to a company that had guaranteed to keep Ecclestone in his job and though he admitted that he made the payment, he denied it was a bribe.
The case isn’t crystal clear at this moment because the court hasn’t looked through all the evidence and has also stated that they have "considerable doubts" about whether Ecclestone knew Gribkowsky held that particular position at the time of the alleged bribe and said "Accordingly, a prosecution of the accused due to bribery is not probable as things stand.”