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2014-04-14 11:03

TOUGH TIMES AHEAD: F1 CEO Bernie Ecclestone will appear in court later in April 2014. Image: AP

MUNICH, Germany - The pre-trial documents outlining the case against F1 chief executive Bernie Ecclestone make no mention of the possibility he was blackmailed by German banker Gerhard Gribkowsky.

That is the claim of German newspaper Welt am Sonntag, revealing that it has read the 223-page document ahead of the Munich hearings later in April 2014.

Ecclestone claims he paid millions to Gribkowsky because he was threatening to divulge details of Ecclestone's tax affairs to authorities.

'JUDGE HAS BEEN GOOD'

The German publication claims prosecutors do not regard Ecclestone's account as legitimate, insisting the R412-million in payments to Gribkowsky was to "secure his position of power" in charge of F1.

Citing the court documents, the newspaper said 40 witnesses are scheduled to testify at the trial, which will be attended by Ecclestone.

Ecclestone said in Bahrain that F1 will "do its best" to run the sport while he is occupied in court.

Ecclestone said: "The judge has been very good. He has said you've just got two days a week in court, Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

"On the Wednesday's he's going to try and get things out of the way a little bit earlier so I can leave and carry on doing what I normally do."
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Read more on:    bernie ecclestone  |  munich  |  germany  |  motorsports  |  racing  |  f1

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