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Ecclestone set to face German court

ESPN Staff
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Bernie Ecclestone: 'If someone wants to sue you, they can do it and you have to defend it' © Getty Images

A judge in Germany investigating allegations Bernie Ecclestone bribed a German banker has served the Formula One boss with an indictment, according to a report in the Financial Times.

Ecclestone has had the allegations hanging over him since the former banker Gerhard Gribkowsky was jailed for eight-and-a-half years last year after being convicted of breach of trust, tax evasion and bribery for the £28 million received from Ecclestone during the sale of Formula One in 2005. In the closing remarks Ecclestone was described by the prosecution as "the accomplice" and an investigation into the F1 boss was opened.

The investigation was completed in May and on Wednesday Ecclestone said he had received an indictment. "I have just spoken to my lawyers and they have received an indictment," he told the Financial Times. "It's being translated into English."

Ecclestone has always maintained his innocence and says his lawyers would defend the allegations.

"We are defending it properly," he said. "It will be an interesting case. It's a pity it's happened."

Ecclestone added: "If someone wants to sue you, they can do it and you have to defend it."