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Ecclestone will run F1 despite bribe trial

Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone will continue running the sport despite going on trial for bribery in Germany.

Ecclestone has, however, stepped down as a member of the board of directors pending the outcome of the trial.

Earlier yesterday, the Munich state court decided to send 83-year-old Ecclestone for trial following his indictment last May.

He faces charges of bribery and incitement to breach of trust connected with a $45m (€33m) payment to a German banker, Gerhard Gribkowsky.

Dates for the trial have not yet been set but proceedings are currently expected to start at the end of April.

Bribery convictions can result in prison sentences ranging from three months to 10 years in Germany.

The board of F1's holding company met following the announcement, and Ecclestone (above) said he was "innocent of the charges and intends to vigorously defend the case".


Although he stepped down from the board, a statement said the board "believes that it is in the best interests of both the F1 business and the sport that Mr Ecclestone should continue to run the business on a day-to-day basis, but subject to increased monitoring and control".

Ecclestone's lawyers said in a statement that "the alleged bribery did not happen".