Formula One: Ecclestone's illness postpones corruption case

MUNICH (AFP) - Bernie Ecclestone's corruption trial in Munich has been postponed for Tuesday and Wednesday with the 83-year-old Formula One magnate sick.

His defence team presented the Munich court with a doctor's certificate to confirm the Briton was ill and judge Peter Noll has allowed the court hearings to be postponed.

The Briton is accused of paying German banker Gerhard Gribkowsky US$44 million (S$56 million) in 2006 and 2007 to ensure his continued grip on the motor-sports empire he had built up over four decades.

Ecclestone, who has pleaded not guilty, faces a maximum jail term of 10 years if he is found guilty. He admits making the huge payment not as a bribe but as hush money after a blackmail attempt.

Prosecutors charge that the money was a bribe meant to ensure BayernLB sold its shares to Ecclestone's preferred bidder, CVC Capital Partners of Britain, now the sport's majority shareholder.

Gribkowsky was sentenced to eight-and-a-half years in prison in 2012 after being convicted of corruption in relation to the money.

There are 26 days scheduled for the court case until mid-September.

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