Ecclestone to keep F1 job after $100m court deal?

Bernie Ecclestone looks set to avoid jail and retain control of formula one.

Germany's Suddeutsche Zeitung is reporting on Saturday that the F1 chief executive has negotiated a US $100 million settlement with prosecutors in his high-profile corruption case in Germany.

The newspaper did not name its sources but said the settlement, negotiated in Munich on Saturday, will terminate the trial altogether and see all charges dropped.

Earlier in the week, there was talk of a EUR 25 million compensation payment to the Munich state bank BayernLB.

It is believed that, on Friday, the court told witnesses due to testify not to attend until further notice.

Official confirmation is possible within the first half of next week, and probably on the scheduled resumption of the trial on Tuesday.

"There have been additional talks involving state prosecutors, defence lawyers and the court, and it's possible that a settlement to end the case could be reached next week," a court spokesman said.

Suddeutsche Zeitung said prosecutors had initially demanded a settlement amount of EUR 100 million, but Ecclestone and his lawyers had negotiated the currency down to US dollars.

The report said that if the settlement is agreed by all sides, it would be the biggest in German history.

"The deal would mean that the Briton will not be convicted and therefore most likely remain formula one boss," correspondent Klaus Ott said.

(GMM)

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