German court provisionally stops Ecclestone trial, judge says
MUNICH, Germany Aug 5 (Reuters) - A German judge said on Tuesday he would discontinue for now a bribery trial against Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone following his offer to make a $100 million payment.
Judge Peter Noll told the court the suspicion of bribery against Ecclestone was by and large not backed up during the trial. He ordered Ecclestone to pay $100 million within a week - $99 million to the state and $1 million to a children's charity.
Ecclestone, 83, went on trial in Munich in April over allegations he paid a $44 million bribe to a former German banker to facilitate the sale of a major stake in the motor sport business eight years ago.
Ecclestone, a former used car salesman who became a billionaire by building the sport into a global money spinner over the past four decades, has denied any wrongdoing.
The state prosecutor told the court earlier on Tuesday that due to Ecclestone's "advanced age" and "other extenuating circumstances", they supported the proposed settlement. (Reporting by Joern Poltz; Writing by Erik Kirschbaum, Maria Sheehan and Kirsti Knolle)
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