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Ecclestone makes offer to have criminal case dropped – reports

Formula One chief executive Bernie Ecclestone has offered to pay €25m ($34m) for the ongoing criminal case against him to be dropped, according to reports.

According to the Daily Telegraph newspaper, the 83-year-old’s lawyers said that he wants the “highly burdensome” case to be dropped at the trial in Munich, Germany, and added that the charges against him are “highly questionable”.

The Bloomberg news agency said that Ecclestone has offered the payment to BayernLB, the bank at the centre of the ongoing trial, rather than Munich’s state prosecutors. Other reports suggested that the defence and prosecution lawyers opened talks over a possible deal earlier today (Tuesday).

“Public prosecutors and the defence are discussing the possibility of an agreement,” a spokesman for the German authorities told the Reuters news agency.

Ecclestone is accused of paying a bribe to German banker Gerhard Gribkowsky with the aim of further cementing his position as F1’s powerbroker. Ecclestone has denied the charges, claiming he was the victim of a blackmail campaign. Ecclestone went on trial in Munich in April.