Date: 6th August 2014 at 8:37am
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Bernie Ecclestone’s trial for bribery has ended after he agreed to pay a £60million settlement.

The Formula One supremo had been on trial in Germany accused of paying German BayernLB banker, Gerhard Gribkowsky £26million to ensure that a company he favoured could buy a stake in Formula One.

Gribkowsky had already gone to trial in 2012 over taking a bribe and is currently serving an eight year prison sentence after being found guilty.

Had Ecclestone been found guilty the 83-year-old could have faced a 10-year jail term.

However agreeing a settlement does not prove or disprove Ecclestone from the accusations.

In German law, the state prosecutors can make an offer to have the case dissolved due to mitigating circumstances or in cases where an overall outcome appears unlikely.

In this case Ecclestone’s age was considered as well as a court spokesperson confirming that an overall outcome appeared unlikely.

‘The court did not consider a conviction overwhelmingly likely from the present point of view.

‘With this type of ending… there is no ruling on guilt or innocence of the defendant.’
Court spokesperson Andrea Titz told the BBC.

Sky Sports news reporter Craig Slater said: ‘The case had been going well for him [Ecclestone] and it’s important to emphasise that this would not be happening unless the judge thought that the case was pretty weak against Bernie Ecclestone.

?Had there been any great gravity of guilt then this potential outcome would not be possible.?

The deal is believed to be the biggest of its kind in German legal history and is also unusual for a deal to be struck mid-trial.

On Tuesday Judge Peter Noll asked Ecclestone if he could raise the $100million [£60million] with Ecclestone simply replying ‘yes’.

He was then asked if the payment could be made within a week. His defence lawyer Sven Thomas responded: ‘That’s do-able.’

Judge Noll then ruled that $99million would go to the Bavarian state whilst $1m would be donated to a children’s hospital.

Ecclestone is now free to continue the global running of Formula One.