Munich (Germany) (AFP) - Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone went on trial in Germany on Thursday, denying charges of bribery that threaten to land the British billionaire in jail. Ecclestone, 83, is accused of paying a German banker tens of millions of dollars to ensure his continued grip on the motor sporting empire he built up virtually single-handedly over four decades. The mop-topped, diminutive F1 magnate entered the packed Munich courtroom in his trademark black suit and white shirt, saying only: "I'm confident, the sun is shining". He also declared that Ecclestone does not intend to speak for now in the trial that is set to run until September.
By Aleksandar Vasovic and Alexei Anishchuk SLAVIANSK, Ukraine/ST PETERSBURG, Russia (Reuters) - Ukrainian forces killed up to five pro-Moscow separatists in the east of the country, the Interior Ministry said on Thursday, as Russian President Vladimir Putin warned of "consequences" if Kiev used the army against its own people. Interior Ministry forces backed by the army removed three checkpoints manned by armed groups in the separatist-controlled town of Slaviansk, the ministry said in a statement. "During the armed clash up to five terrorists were eliminated," it said, adding that one person had been wounded on the side of government forces. However, the Kremlin, which has deployed tens of thousands of troops on Ukraine's border, maintains it has the right to protect Russian-speakers if they come under threat, a reason it gave for annexing the Crimean peninsula from Ukraine last month.