Ecclestone Seeks to Settle Corruption Case for 25 Million Euros

Defense lawyers for Bernie Ecclestone told the Munich judges trying him for corruption that the Formula One chief is prepared to pay Bayerische Landesbank 25 million euros ($33.6 million) if the criminal case is dropped.

While the allegations against him are “highly questionable” and no damage was caused to BayernLB, the 83-year-old wishes to end the case, which has become “extremely burdensome,” his lawyers said at trial today. The details of such an agreement still need to be discussed, Munich court spokeswoman Margarete Noetzel said in an e-mailed statement.

Ecclestone is on trial on charges he bribed Gerhard Gribkowsky, BayernLB’s former chief risk officer, with $44 million to ensure he wouldn’t oppose a sale of the lender’s stake to CVC Capital Partners Ltd. Gribkowsky, who managed the bank’s interest in Formula One before the sale, was convicted in 2012 of accepting bribes and sentenced to 8 1/2 years in prison.

Ecclestone’s lawyer Sven Thomas didn’t immediately reply to an e-mail seeking comment.

Thomas Steinkraus-Koch, the prosecutors’ spokesman, said his office took note of the proposal and is now deliberating on how to respond to it in court.

Deutsche Presse-Agentur reported the proposal earlier today.

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