Bernie Ecclestone's bribery trial and charges have been officially dropped, after the F1 supremo lodged his controversial $100 million settlement with Munich authorities. After the deal was announced recently, the 83-year-old Briton had one week to actually pay the funds -- $99 million to the Bavarian state, and $1 million to a German children's charity.
"After the payment of the agreed amount to the recipients, the court ceased criminal proceedings", Munich spokeswoman Margarete Notzel confirmed to the German news agency DPA. Ecclestone is celebrating the end of proceedings by holidaying aboard his huge luxury yacht Petara off the Croatian island of Havr, the Daily Mail reported.
"The bottom line is it's been three and a half years of aggravation, travelling, meeting lawyers, and god knows what else, so it is good it is out of the way," the billionaire said. It is not yet clear what Bavaria will do with Ecclestone's millions, the largest criminal court settlement in German history, but minister president Horst Seehofer insisted: "We are certainly not breaking into cries of joy." (GMM)