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E-mails and phone calls form major part of spy evidence

NEWS STORY
13/09/2007

According to reports the star witness in terms of today's hearing in Paris, is Rome's postal police, who since early July have been piecing together evidence in the form of e-mails and telephone calls between several of those allegedly involved in the saga, most notably Nigel Stepney and Mike Coughlan.

The Guardian reports that, according to sources close to the police, several hundred e-mails, text messages and phone calls were exchanged between the two men, with traffic increasing "considerably" just before races.

Having checked credit card details and ATM cash withdrawals the police are now convinced that contrary to claims that there was one meeting in Barcelona on April 28, there were in fact many meetings between the two men.

It is further claimed that there were communications with other McLaren employees, with Italy's Corriere della Sera claiming that Coughlan instructed (McLaren test driver) Pedro de la Rosa to try out various innovations suggested by Stepney. It is also claimed that de la Rosa advised Fernando Alonso on the way Ferrari used its tyres, citing details of the Italian outfit's brake-balancing mechanism.

This information is believed to form part of the 160 pages of evidence that will be introduced at today's hearing, and which was presented to all those involved last week.

Last week, ahead of the Italian GP, FIA President Max Mosley wrote to all the teams advising them to present any evidence which may be of interest to the World Motor sport Council. He also wrote to all three McLaren drivers offering them immunity should they come forward voluntarily.

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