Ferrari-Coughlan case far from over

Ferrari has won the first round of its legal action with Mike and Trudy Coughlan, regarding the current industrial espionage scandal between Ferrari and McLaren. The Coughlans have agreed to signed a sworn statement in Britain giving the full details of their involvement in the affair. If these statements turn out to be false they will be guilty of perjury and could be jailed.

As part of the agreement, Ferrari has said that it will press the British court to make the statement available to the Italian prosecutors but they may request to see this later on when they are pursuing the ongoing case against Nigel Stepney in Italy.

The civil case in England will continue but at the moment there is no indication as to how long it will be before this comes back to court again.

Ferrari has asked Coughlan to explain when and what was said between Coughlan and McLaren Racing managing director Jonathan Neale. Ferrari is also keen to see the contents of a computer that was used by Coughlan but belongs to a third party (who was not represented in the court). It is fairly clear that this is McLaren itself and it is unlikely that the team will be willing to show a competitor the computer used by its chief designer.

Ferrari says it is also not happy with the explanation that has been given by Coughlan (and referred to by McLaren in a press release) stating that the information was received at the end of April this year. Ferrari claims that amongst the 780 pages of data on two computer discs there were documents which were dated after that point. This suggests that Coughlan had received information after the date mentioned.

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