A court in Munich has ruled that Formula One mogul, Bernie Ecclestone, will be tried on bribery charges.
He’s accused of giving a 33 million euro bribe to a German banker who is currently serving a jail sentence for receiving the payment.
The F1 chief will continue to run the sport on a day-to-day basis, but has stepped down as a board member until the end of the trial,. which is likely to start in late April.
If found guilty, he could face jail time, according to Judge Andrea Titz.
“The law stipulates a prison sentence of up to five years for the crimes he is accused of,” she explained. “In an especially severe case it can be up to ten years but this bears no relevance to what the accused ought to expect in this trial if he were to be sentenced.”
Ecclestone is alleged to have paid German banker, Gerhard Gribkowsky, to ensure F1 is sold to a private equity group of his choice.
He admits making the payment, but denies bribery.
The trial threatens to end his long reign at the helm of the business he turned into a global money-spinner.