Though it has been reported that the affidavit provided by McLaren chief engineer Mike Coughlan to Ferrari as a result of a British court proceeding did not name Nigel Stepney as the source of stolen Ferrari documents recovered from Coughlan’s residence, it seems Stepney is not out of the woods, yet.
 
According to reports on the thisislondon.uk website, police in Italy have been going through Stepney’s bank account records in that country and have asked British police to review his accounts in England. They are reportedly looking for payments to Stepney which might have been made in exchange for passing the documents to a third party. 
 
But Stepney has now begun to strike back.
 
Earlier, he had issued a statement which referred to high speed chases and tracking devices placed on his car. At the time, the implication had been that Ferrari was involved in those events. Stepney’s Italian lawyer has now made the accusation specific: “My client was able to make a note of the number plate on the car involved and we are trying to trace it. Nigel is all the more convinced by the car chase that this is a dirty tricks ploy by Ferrari.”
 
What exactly does it mean, “dirty tricks?”
 
In this context, that term would hardly seem to fit overzealous investigation by Ferrari of someone suspected of industrial sabotage and espionage. Rather, the implication of Stepney’s remarks and those of his lawyer is that Ferrari is faking, all in order to discredit Stepney. Or maybe that, and worse.
 
Coughlan’s affidavit, according to published reports, did not name Stepney as his source of the stolen documents. He merely said that he received them by “express courier” mail.
 
One would have thought that authorities in either Brittan or Italy would have traced the sender of that package by now. But, either they haven’t or – more likely – it was a dead end.
 
But the comments of Stepney’s lawyer are intriguing.
 
During World War II, the British created an elaborate ruse to mislead the Germans about British military plans. It involved allowing a deceased British courier to wash ashore in occupied France with a briefcase handcuffed to his wrist. In that briefcase were documents, purportedly very secret, detailing the British plans. Of course, the whole thing was a ruse, sent ashore from a British submarine. But, it worked.
 
Could Ferrari have been devious enough to do much the same?

Source: This Is London

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