Ecclestone settles court case with $100 million

By on

Formula One's commercial rights holder, Bernie Ecclestone has come to an agreement to pay $100 million to terminate his bribery court case in Munich, Germany.

The 83-year old thereby definitively ends the court case against him, avoiding a jail sentence and enabling him to stay at the helm of Formula One Management.

The German judge Peter Noll, in charge of the court case, accepted the settlement offer in accordance with Article 153a of German Criminal Law. On Tuesday the German prosecutors already ruled that this article was applicable in Ecclestone's case.

The article also states that any such statement must be made available "within a reasonable time", in this case one week. Ecclestone though firmly confirmed with "Yes" when asked if this would be possible.

Ecclestone had been on trial since April, accused of paying a $44 billion bribe to former banker Gerhard Gribkowsky, destined to help secure the sale of 47% of F1's shares from BayernLB to CVC Capital Partners in 2006. Gribkowsky himself was already jailed for accepting the bribe, but Ecclestone has always maintained he payed that because he was being blackmailed.

Of the $100 million paid by Ecclestone, $99 million will go to the Bavarian treasury, a million to the Children's Hospice Foundation.