Helicopter firm files complaint over Schumacher records

Tue Jul 8, 2014 2:04pm EDT
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GENEVA (Reuters) - Swiss helicopter company Rega filed a criminal complaint on Tuesday for the suspected leak of Michael Schumacher's medical files as the seven-times Formula One champion undergoes neurological rehabilitation.

"Rega has no proof that one of its employees is implicated," the Zurich-based company, which specializes in emergency medical assistance, said in a statement.

"But out of a concern for absolute clarity in this case, Rega today lodged a complaint against an unknown person with the prosecutor of Zurich canton."

Schumacher, who suffered severe head injuries in a year-end ski accident in the French Alps, was transferred under a pseudonym from Grenoble hospital to University Hospital of Lausanne (CHUV) on June 16 after emerging from a coma.

The 45-year-old German was taken by ambulance but Rega was also contacted when helicopter transport was being considered.

The French daily "Le Dauphine Libere" reported on Monday that leaked documents being offered to European media for some 60,000 Swiss francs ($67,200) appeared to have come from the IP address of a computer at a Zurich-based helicopter company.

Rega said it had no evidence that any of its employees violated patient privacy and medical secrecy after receiving Schumacher's medical report from the Grenoble hospital.

Noting that it was now at the "center of speculation", Rega said it was making a public statement to clarify the situation following the French newspaper report.

A spokeswoman for the Zurich cantonal prosecutor confirmed the Rega complaint had been received, but said it had not opened a formal investigation for now. The prosecutor was in talks with French authorities regarding jurisdiction, she said.   Continued...

Mercedes Formula One driver Michael Schumacher of Germany is seen in the pits during the first practice session of the Australian F1 Grand Prix at the Albert Park circuit in Melbourne March 25, 2011.  REUTERS/Mark Horsburgh