On 01 Aug 2014 the Süddeutsche Zeitung’s Klaus Ott reported that it looked like Bernie Ecclestone had successfully negotiated a deal with a Munich court to pay $100 million to make his bribery trial go away.
One indication the court would accept the settlement, the largest ever in Germany, is that after the Friday, 01 Aug 2014, meeting with Mr. Ecclestone the court “uninvited” Tuesday’s witnesses.
If the Munich court accepts the deal, Mr. Ecclestone could continue as boss of Formula One racing. Secrecy was one of the deal’s conditions.
Mr. Ecclestone is on trial for bribing a manager of the Bavarian Landesbank BayernLB with $44 million eight years ago to cheat BayernLB in Mr. Ecclestone’s interest. They used fake invoices and letterbox companies to pay the bribe, and then with the manager’s help Mr. Ecclestone was able to negotiate almost the full bribe out of BayernLB. Mr. Ecclestone’s defense at the Munich trial was that it wasn’t a bribe but blackmail.
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