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Formula 1 head to face bribery charges in Germany

Jan. 16, 2014 at 4:11 PM

MUNICH, Germany, Jan. 16 (UPI) -- Formula 1 Chief Executive Bernie Ecclestone will stand trial in April on charges of bribery, a spokesman for the Munich court said in a statement Thursday.

Ecclestone, one of the most powerful men in motor sports, is accused of paying banker Gerhard Gribkowsky $44 million to ensure that Formula 1 was sold to a private equity group he chose, Sky News reported.

The indictment was filed in Germany last July.

Ecclestone has stepped down from the board of the company but is expected to run F1 on a daily basis. He has denied any wrongdoing.

Ecclestone does not deny paying Gribkowsky, but has claimed that the banker bribed him into the deal, the Daily Telegraph reported.

Ecclestone is also a defendant in a London case, in which is he accused of conspiring to undervalue the sport when it was sold to CVC Capital Partners.

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