Authorities close in on Schumacher medical record thief

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A Swiss helicopter company has been linked to theft and subsequent attempts to sell excerpts from the medical files of Michael Schumacher, a report said on Monday.

The French newspaper Dauphine Libere reported that the IP address of the computer from which the records were offered for sale has been traced to the headquarters of the helicopter company in the canton of Zurich.

Formula 1 legend, Schumacher was transferred from the university clinic in Grenoble to a hospital in the Swiss city of Lausanne on June 16 after coming out of a coma.

He suffered a head injury while skiing on 29 December. The transfer took place by road, but the helicopter firm was initially contacted while doctors were deciding the best way to move him. Excerpts from the medical records were given to a doctor associated with the helicopter company.

A few days later some 11-12 pages of the confidential medical records were offered for sale to media outlets across Europe for 60 000 Swiss francs ($68 000).

The hospital where Schumacher was being treated said at the time that there had been no unauthorized access to its computers and filed a complaint with police.

Schumacher’s manager Sabine Kehm said that the files had been stolen and warned that buying such documents and publishing them is prohibited.

Information from medical files is strictly confidential and may not be made public, she said. Swiss police are now reportedly taking over the investigation from French authorities. (DPA)