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NOVEMBER 5, 2002

The Haffas go to court

Thomas and Florian Haffa, the leading figures in EM.TV & Merchandising AG, which once owned the commercial rights to Formula 1, have gone on trial in Germany on charges that they deceived investors about the state of the company's finances prior to an unexpected warning about profits which resulted in the share price of EM.TV losing almost all of its value.

Prosecutors in a Munich court are accusing the Haffas of presenting false half-year results in August 2000 and making assurances that the firm would hit full year targets when they knew that such results were impossible.

The Haffas deny the charges.

After the collapse of EM.TV the ownership of the commercial rights of F1 moved to the Kirch Group, which also collapsed.