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Ecclestone seeks to end bribery trial

ESPN Staff
July 29, 2014 « 'F1 needs drivers to be heroes' - Horner | Ecclestone against standing starts »
Bernie Ecclestone has been attending the trial since April © Getty Images

Bernie Ecclestone is prepared to pay German bank BayernLB €25 million if judges agree to end to his bribery trial in Munich.

Ecclestone went on trial in Germany in April this year charged with bribery and incitement to breach of trust. At the centre of the trial is a $44 million payment made by Ecclestone to German banker Gerhard Gribkowsky, which prosecutors claim was made to ensure Formula One was sold to Ecclestone's preferred buyer in 2006. Ecclestone denies the charges, arguing that he paid Gribkowsky after the banker threatened to make false claims about his tax affairs in the UK.

On Tuesday, Ecclestone's lawyers called for the case to be dropped, citing a lack of evidence and labelling the proceedings "extremely burdensome" for the F1 boss. Ecclestone's lawyers say no damage to BayernLB was evident and that the allegations against him are "highly questionable", but have put forward an offer to pay the bank €25 million as part of the deal.

A court spokesperson has confirmed a potential deal is being discussed, but the case can only be dropped if the court and public prosecutors agree to do so.