03262014Headline:

Ecclestone Faces Bribery Charges

Bernie Ecclestone will stand  trial on bribery charges in Germany, it has been confirmed.

Prosecutors in Munich announced on Thursday that they will launch criminal  proceedings against Ecclestone over the $44m (£27m) that was paid to the German  banker Gerhard Gribkowsky during the sale of Formula One in 2005. Ecclestone  faces charges of bribery and incitement to breach of trust.

As yet there is no date set for the start of the trial but it is expected  that proceedings will begin in April. Sky News reports that Ecclestone  will remain in charge of the day-to-day management of Formula One despite  stepping down from the board of the sport’s owners CVC for the duration of the  trial.

Despite Ecclestone also waiting to hear the outcome of a High Court trial – in which he was accused by German media group Constantin Medien of conspiring to  undervalue F1 during the sale to CVC in 2005 – Red Bull team principal Christian  Horner believes the sport needs him at the helm.

“Bernie is absolutely the best and only guy to do what he does, to take  Formula One to the global reach that the sport has achieved, introducing races  in Russia this year, going back to the Austrian Grand Prix,” Horner told AP. “It’s a massive calendar that he’s pulled together (for 2014) …  it’s in all our interests that he’s around as long as possible.”

 

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