Gallingly for Ecclestone, if the trial had run its course through to October, in all likelihood he would have been acquitted.
In summation, after deliberating for three hours on the offer made by the defence and agreed by the prosecution, presiding judge Peter Noll declared: "The charges could not, in important areas, be substantiated."
But to add to Noll's remarks, court spokeswoman Andrea Titz stated that based on the evidence presented "the court did not consider a conviction overwhelmingly likely from the present point of view".
Asked whether CVC were happy for him to continue, his answer was unequivocal as he said: "Yes, of course."
If I'm understanding correctly (and I'm likely not as I know so little about law), this sounds like it was a pretty shrewd move by the prosecutors who deserve none or little of the criticism they're getting in this thread. The alternative wasn't Bernie going to jail, it was Bernie being acquitted. Bernie: "I was a bit of an idiot to do what I did to settle . . ."