Bernie Ecclestone steps down from Formula 1 board pending bribery trial in Germany
Mr Ecclestone is accused of making a corrupt payment to a German banker
Bernie Ecclestone has stepped down from the board running Formula 1 racing, after a German court ruled on Thursday that he will be tried on bribery charges.
Mr Ecclestone has stepped down from the board of Delta Topco which runs the sport, until the outcome of the trial in announced. He will remain in charge of Formula 1 in a day-to-day capacity, he said in a statement.
His decision follows a ruling by a panel of judges in Munich on Thursday.
Judges had been deliberating if Mr Ecclestone should face trial over allegations that he made a corrupt payment to a German banker when the sport was sold almost a decade ago, according to Sky News.
The 83-year-old is accused of making a $45 million payment to Gerhard Gribkowsky, who is serving a jail sentence for receiving the payment.
Prosecutors allege that Mr Gribkowsky was paid to ensure that Formula 1 was sold to a private equity group of Mr Ecclestone’s choosing.
Mr Ecclestone admits the payment, but denies the charges and instead claims he was the victim of blackmail.
He told the board of Delta Topco on Thursday that he intends to vigorously defend the case, which will commence in late April.
A statement read: "After discussion with the board, Mr Ecclestone has proposed and the board has agreed that until the case has been concluded, he will step down as a director with immediate effect, thereby relinquishing his board duties and responsibilities until the case has been resolved.
"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 by the board. Mr Ecclestone has agreed to these arrangements."
Mr Ecclestone separately faces a £90 million civil claim in London's High Court brought by a German media company, Constantin Medien, who allege that they lost out financially when Formula 1 was sold in 2006.
Mr Ecclestone and Mr Gribkowsky were accused in court of conspiring to undervalue the sport when it was sold, to ensure that Mr Ecclestone could retain control over Formula 1.
- 1 Exclusive: Abusers using spyware apps to monitor partners reaches 'epidemic proportions'
- 2 Margaret Thatcher 'expressed fears of Asian rising' at Anglo-Irish summit in 1984
- 3 Sussex couple die in suspected Christmas Day 'suicide pact'
- 4 The 'Black Museum': After 150 years, public set to see exhibits from police’s grisly crime museum
- 5 The Unluckiest People of the Year 2014 (and one very unlucky giraffe)
British actor Idris Elba cannot star as James Bond because he is black, says shock jock Rush Limbaugh
Germany anti-Islam protests: 17,000 march on Dresden against 'Islamification of the West'
Ukip member gets into Christmas spirit with Union Flag plea to Santa 'for our country back'
Immigrants make UK racist, says Ukip councillor Trevor Shonk
BBC director Danny Cohen: Rising UK antisemitism makes me feel more uncomfortable than ever
Katie Hopkins speaks out on childhood obesity: 'Parents of fat children should be prosecuted for child cruelty'
Not specified: Selby Jennings: VP/SVP Credit Quant Top tier investment bank i...
£40000 - £43000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Senior Marketing Executiv...
£40000 - £43000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: An international organisa...
£25000 - £30000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Internal Recruiter -Rugby, Warwicksh...