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OCTOBER 3, 2000

Verstappen denies GBH charge

Dutchmen Jos Verstappen will learn his fate on October 30th after a court heard how the Arrows Formula One driver fractured a man's skull in an incident at a Belgian karting race track.

Verstappen has been accused of grievous bodily harm after he and his father were involved in a serious fight on May 19th 1998, where witnesses revealed the driver punched a 45-year-old man leaving him hospitalized for several months.

The 28-year-old driver, who was represented by his lawyer in court, denies the charge.

Unable to appear in court in Tongres as he was preparing for the Japanese Grand Prix, it was left to Verstappen's lawyer to contend that some youngsters, who joined in with Verstappen, were to blame for the incident.

The Dutchmen lawyer said: "There is no proof that it was Verstappen who had indeed struck the victim."

The victim was not in court after reaching a financial agreement with the driver. The inquest continues.