Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone must face trial in Germany for corruption, judges in Munich have decided, according to a court spokeswoman.
Ecclestone was indicted in July over allegations of bribery and incitement to misappropriation in a 2006 mega-deal, but the trial remained uncertain until the judges gave their go-ahead.
Ecclestone, 83, is chief executive of Formula One, the sport he built into one of the world’s biggest money-spinners.
Analysts have previously said global car manufacturers, the main F1 sponsors, would insist that he step down if he has to appear in a court charged with a serious crime.
Court spokeswoman Margarete Noetzel said the trial would probably begin at the end of April.
The Briton is alleged to have charged a German bank a $US66 million ($A74.27 million) commission at the time it was selling its stake in Formula One to a British investor, and to have given $US44 million in kickbacks to Gerhard Gribkowsky, an executive of the bank, Bayern LB.
Gribkowsky was sentenced in 2012 to eight and a half years for accepting the money.
Ecclestone has insisted he did nothing illegal, but the trial judge, Peter Noll, said Gribkowsky was “led into crime” by the Briton.
German law would require the F1 chief to appear in court in person when the trial begins.
If convicted, Ecclestone might face up to 10 years in prison.