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McLaren's Coughlan hands over affidavit to Ferrari 12 Jul 2007

Mike Coughlan (GBR) McLaren Designer. Formula One Testing, Valencia, Spain, 17 January 2007. World © Sutton

After both parties participated in a hearing at the High Court in London on Tuesday, Ferrari have confirmed that McLaren’s chief designer Mike Coughlan has provided the Italian team with an affidavit relating to their current enquiry into the alleged theft of technical information.

In the statement, Ferrari revealed that the two parties had reached an agreement on two points that had been due to be discussed in court on Wednesday morning. The Italian team also made it clear that, although they have agreed not to forward Coughlan’s statement to the Italian criminal authorities, their case in the English courts against the British designer and his wife Trudy would continue.

“In light of the hearing yesterday in the High Court in London, relating to the case between Ferrari S.p.A. and the Coughlans, Ferrari wishes to make clear the following: the legal teams on both sides had reached an agreement on two procedural points that were to be discussed in a further hearing this morning,” read Wednesday’s press release.

“Therefore, the hearing in which these procedural points were to be discussed has been cancelled. Mike Coughlan has today provided Ferrari with an affidavit relating to relevant facts and Ferrari has agreed not to forward the affidavit to the Italian criminal authorities.The agreement reached between the parties therefore concerns only the procedural aspects mentioned above. The case brought by Ferrari in England against the Coughlans therefore continues in terms of what is decided by the High Court in London.”

These latest developments follow Ferrari's announcement earlier this month that they had launched a legal case against former engineer Nigel Stepney, concerning the alleged theft of technical information from the team. At the same time, the Italian team also revealed that a member of McLaren team was also involved in the investigation.

Coughlan, who has since been suspended by McLaren, was subsequently named when Honda revealed that both he and Stepney visited the Japanese team in June, with a view to investigating job opportunities.