GET OUT OF JAIL CARD: According to reports, Bernie Ecclestone won't be facing any jail time if he settles a R1-billion court deal in his corruption trial. Image: AP/ Matthias Schrader
LONDON, England - Bernie Ecclestone looks set to avoid jail and retain control of Formula 1.
Germany's Suddeutsche Zeitung reported on Saturday (August 2 2014) that the F1 chief executive has negotiated a settlement the equivalent of R1-billion 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 and see all charges dropped.
Earlier in July 2014, there was talk of an equivalent of R357-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 (August 5).
A court spokesman said: "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 this week."
Suddeutsche Zeitung said prosecutors had initially demanded a settlement amount to the equivalent of R14-billion, 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.
Correspondent Klaus Ott said."The deal would mean that the Briton will not be convicted and therefore most likely remain formula one boss,"