April trial for F1 chief
FORMULA One boss Bernie Ecclestone will stand trial in April on bribery charges in Munich over the sale of a stake in his multi-billion-dollar sport, a German court said yesterday.
Mr Ecclestone, 83, was charged last July in relation to a US$44-million (S$56-million) payment he made to former German banker Gerhard Gribkowsky which was linked to the sale of the F1 championship rights in 2006.
Mr Ecclestone said he will fight to clear his name.
His lawyers in Germany, Mr Sven Thomas and Mr Norbert Scharf, said in a statement: "The alleged bribery never took place.
"The accusations that are based on Mr Gribkowsky's testimony are incorrect and, based on the facts, offer no coherent picture."
Legal problems stemming from the sale threaten to end Mr Ecclestone's long hold on F1. He could be jailed if convicted.
The legal issues also make it hard to revisit stalled efforts to launch the sport's initial public offering on the Singapore stock market.