Bribery charge would end Ecclestone’s reign (Updated)

UPDATE

Bernie Ecclestone may be trading in his black suit for a pinstripe one

(GMM) If Bernie Ecclestone is charged with bribery, it will be the end of the 82-year-old Briton's long and famous reign over formula one.

That is the claim of a source, who was commenting in the wake of reports at the weekend that German prosecutors are close to indicting F1's chief executive over the Gerhard Gribkowsky affair.

According to Suddeutsche Zeitung newspaper, the next step would be a court deciding if it should hear the case, with a trial to shortly follow.

The Financial Times said one option for Ecclestone would be for him to negotiate a settlement with the prosecutors.

But "Irrespective of whether he manages to settle," a source told the newspaper, "he would be gone from F1 by the end of the year."

Ecclestone told Reuters last weekend in Barcelona: "I've not heard from anybody. Let's wait and see what happens."

05/11/13 (GMM) Munich prosecutors could be set to formally charge Bernie Ecclestone for bribery, the Suddeutsche Zeitung newspaper reports.

The German report said authorities have now completed an investigation into the 82-year-old F1 chief executive's payment of millions to jailed F1 banker Gerhard Gribkowsky, and could publish the outcome this month.

If the court accepts the indictment, the trial would reportedly begin later in 2013.

Munich prosecutors, and Ecclestone's lawyers, declined to comment to Suddeutsche Zeitung.

Bloomberg reported on Friday that Gribkowsky has dropped the appeal against his eight-year sentence, having been convicted of receiving $44 million from Ecclestone amid the sale of the sport to CVC some years ago.

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