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Formula One chief Bernie Ecclestone denies bribery in Germany trial

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Formula One chief Bernie Ecclestone denies bribery in Germany trial

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Formula 1 boss Bernie Ecclestone has denied bribery charges at the start of his trial in Munich.

He is accused of giving a 33 million euro bribe to German banker Gerhard Gribkowsky.

He allegedly made the payment in order to secure the sale of a stake in the F1 business to a company he favoured.

The 83-year-old Briton admits paying the banker who is serving a jail sentence for receiving the payment but has denied any wrongdoing.

The payments were made between July 2006 and December 2007.

If convicted Bernie Ecclestone could face up to 10 years in jail.

He is one of Britain’s richest men and is credited with transforming Formula 1 from a sport of amateurs into a lucrative global commercial business.

Television deals mean it is watched by some 450 million viewers across the world.

The chief executive of Formula 1 has ruled the sport for almost four decades.