Bernie Ecclestone, the bribery case and the £60m settlement

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  • Not surprisingly, this has caused huge controversy here in Germany. Such deals are relatively common place if there is a probability of the state prosecutors not being able to attain a guilty verdict. Last year the former German state president was offered just such a deal (he had been charged with corruption for allegedly allowing various trips to be paid by a former business associate), but he refused and held out for a not guilty verdict (and was vindicated). Some have likened the outcome to a not-proven verdict in Scotland.
    But most commentators, both legal and journalistic, have so far argued that the prosecutors and judges should have let the trial go its course, even if it ended up with Ecclestone being found not guilty, because this huge settlement inevitably brings the German justice system into disrepute. The accusation often repeated is that such deals tend to be offered to those with the money to pay, and rarely to those whose crimes are less serious. If more of these cases were settled this way, it would be far more effective in unclogging the overloaded justice system.

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  • why was Ecclestone not tried at the same time as the recipient of the bribe?

    This looks really bad, and not a great advert for the German legal system.

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