Alleged theft of Michael Schumacher's medical records traced to Swiss helicopter firm
The IP address of the alleged thief of Michael Schumacher's medical records has been traced to a Swiss helicopter firm that had reportedly been due to transport the Formula One champion, prosecutors have confirmed.
The family of the motor-racing legend was outraged last month after it transpired that a report on his medical condition had been stolen and offered for sale to various media for 60,000 Swiss francs (£39,000).
The email offers were signed off with the name Kagemusha – a Japanese term translated literally as “Shadow Warrior” and the title of a 1980 film about a petty thief who stands in for a wounded samurai warlord. More recently the emails were signed off “Jeremy Martin”.
French police opened a criminal investigation into the theft of the document, consisting of around a dozen pages that summarise the seven-time world champion's treatment in Grenoble.
The full extent of Mr Schumacher’s medical condition has been of huge concern to millions of fans since he suffered a devastating ski accident last December in which he hit his head a rock while off-piste in the French Alpine resort of Meribel.
After months of sparse updates on his condition, his entourage finally announced last month that he was no longer in a coma and had moved from Grenoble in southeastern France to the University Hospital of Lausanne in western Switzerland.
Today, the prosecutor’s office in Grenoble confirmed it had identified the IP address of the computer belonging to the alleged thief.
"The IP address was located in a helicopter firm in the Zurich area," said a spokesman, who declined to reveal the name of the company or the alleged thief, saying the investigation was now a matter for the Swiss authorities.
A report in Dauphine Libéré, the French local newspaper, said the firm had initially been due to transfer Mr Schumacher to Lausanne and had apparently been given a copy of the medical report.
The document did not appear in Mr Schumacher's final medical report and was likely to have been a draft left in a hospital bin, according to the prosecutor.
A source close to the investigation said the document appeared to be a summary written by Mr Schumacher's doctor for his transfer to Switzerland.
Sabine Kehm, the Formula One champion's spokeswoman, has warned that the documents are confidential and promised to sue any publication that releases the medical records.