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High Court opens F1 spying row case- 11 Jul 2007 00:00:00

The spying row that has overshadowed the last few weeks of the F1 season has reached the High Court with Ferrari filing a case against a chief designer from rival team McLaren.

In the High Court yesterday, Ferrari brought a case against McLaren chief designer Mike Coughlan, who was found to have documents belonging to the team in his house.

Ferrari allege Coughlan's wife took a 780-page package of Ferrari documents to a photocopying shop for reproduction.

At a preliminary hearing, Coughlan and his wife Trudy were named as defendants and ordered to pay costs following a search of their home last week.

Ferrari had earlier won a court order to search the Coughlans' home when the documents were found, together with computers which are to be examined by experts.

Coughlan has already been linked to Ferrari head of performance Nigel Stepney, who has been sacked by the Italian team after being accused of leaking secrets to McLaren.

Coughlan has been suspended by McLaren until the outcome of the High Court proceedings.

World motorsport's governing body, the FIA, is conducting its own investigation, involving a detailed examination of the McLaren cars.

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