Michael Schumacher files: Swiss firm 'investigated'

Michael Schumacher Image copyright PA
Image caption Michael Schumacher was placed in a medically-induced coma after his skiing accident

A Swiss helicopter firm is at the centre of an inquiry into attempts to sell F1 ex-champion Michael Schumacher's medical file, police say.

Schumacher, 45, was moved on 16 June from a French hospital to a hospital in Lausanne in Switzerland.

Although he was transferred by road, initial contact was reportedly made with the helicopter company.

He suffered a severe head injury in a skiing accident last December and has come out of a medically-induced coma.

Schumacher's manager, Sabine Kehm, said last month that his medical files had been "clearly stolen" and were being offered for sale. She warned that criminal charges would be pressed if such "confidential files" were bought or published.

The medical records, said to consist of a few pages written by his doctors in the French city of Grenoble, were apparently being offered for sale to media across Europe for 50,000 euros (£40,000, $68,000).

Image copyright AFP
Image caption Michael Schumacher was moved by road to the university hospital in Lausanne on 16 June

Now prosecutors say they are looking at a computer whose IP address has been traced to a Swiss helicopter company, which was sent the medical files while the ex-champion's doctors were considering how to transport him to Lausanne.

Suspicions had initially fallen on the hospital in Grenoble and the ambulance team which eventually drove him across the border.

According to the Grenoble prosecutor, the computer was traced back to a helicopter company in the Swiss canton of Zurich.

The file had been sent to a doctor at the company, although there was nothing to link the doctor to the alleged offence.

The news emerged last month when German newspaper Bild said it had received an email offering the medical files for sale. Swiss, French and UK tabloid newspapers were also said to have been approached.

The Grenoble prosecutor said the handful of pages of the medical file sent appeared to date back to late May, and referred not to Michael Schumacher but a pseudonym, Jeremy Martin.

It is thought the latest findings of the French inquiry will now be handed to the authorities in Switzerland.

Michael Schumacher

Image copyright AP
  • Born: 3 January 1969
  • First GP win: Belgium 1992
  • Last GP win: China 2006
  • Races started: 303
  • Wins: 91 (155 podium finishes)
  • Championships: 7 (1994, 1995, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004)

Michael Schumacher retired from racing in 2012 after a 19-year career.

The investigation into his accident at the Meribel resort on 29 December said he had been skiing off-piste when he fell and hit a rock.

He had been going at the speed of "a very good skier" at the time, they said.

His family has said very little about his medical progress, preferring to avoid the gaze of the international media.

But Swiss media reported on Monday that Schumacher's wife Corinna had posed smiling for photographs at the weekend while visiting a horse ranch given to her by her husband.

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