French prosecutors have traced the leak of injured formula one racer Michael Schumacher’s medical report to a Zurich helicopter firm. The details of Schumacher’s injuries, sustained in a 2013 skiing accident, were put on sale last month by an unidentified thief.
According to prosecutors in Grenoble, France – near where Schumacher’s accident happened and where he was hospitalised before being transferred to Switzerland – the IP address of the computer offering the medical information for sale originates from a Zurich firm that was approached to transport the athlete by helicopter to a Lausanne hospital. Prosecutors did not name a specific firm or person involved.
French prosecutors opened up a criminal investigation into the theft of the documents which they say they have now passed on to Swiss authorities. Since the helicopter company is based in canton Zurich, the case would become the responsibility of cantonal justice officials. However, according to the Swiss News Agency, no such case has yet been registered in Zurich.
On Tuesday the Swiss air rescue service, REGA, said it had lodged a criminal complaint with the Zurich public prosecutor against an unknown person or organisation.
It is allegedly in response to an article in the French newspaper ‘Dauphiné Libéré’ that is said to have raised suspicions that an “important helicopter company” from Zurich was responsible for stealing the records.
REGA said the aim was to bring “complete clarity” to the situation and added it still had no knowledge of any misconduct on its part.
The medical records in question consist of a dozen-page letter from Schumacher’s doctor in Grenoble to the University Hospital of Lausanne detailing the extent of his injuries. French prosecutors said it was likely a draft letter that had been discarded, since no evidence of it appeared in Schumacher’s final medical report.
The contents of the letter were offered up to journalists online at a price of CHF60,000 ($67,000).
Schumacher, a German who lives in Switzerland, suffered severe head trauma in late December after falling and hitting his head on a rock while skiing. He lay in a coma for months and was transported to Lausanne for rehabilitation on June 16 after waking up.
swissinfo.ch and agencies