Court of appeal will hear McLaren case

Jul 31, 2007 - 4:10 PM By Neale Graham Special to PA SportsTicker

LONDON (Ticker) -- Formula One's governing body, the FIA, has sent the so-called "spying" case involving McLaren and Ferrari to the Court of Appeal.

The controversy revolved around how McLaren chief designer Mike Coughlan came to have in his possession confidential Ferrari documents.

McLaren escaped a penalty last week after the World Motorsport Council (WMSC) ruled there was insufficient evidence that it had affected this year's F1 title race.

FIA president Max Mosley's decision to refer the case to the Court of Appeal comes in response to a letter, critical of the WMSC decision, from Italy's automobile federation president, Luigi Macaluso.

The new ruling means Ferrari will get to put forward its side of the story after being denied the option of appealing last week's verdict due to only being invited to the WMSC hearing.

"Your letter suggests the outcome may have been different if the council had given Ferrari further opportunities to be heard beyond those that were in fact offered," Moseley said in a written statement. "Because of this, and the importance of public confidence in the outcome, I will send this matter to the FIA Court of Appeal under article 23.1 of the FIA statutes with a request that the court hear both Ferrari and McLaren and any other championship competitor who so requests.

"This will determine whether the decision of the WMSC was appropriate and, if not, substitute such other decision as may be just."

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