JANUARY 16, 2006
Brunner facing prosecution?
There are reports in Germany that the Staatsanwaltschaft Kšln, the public prosecution service, is considering charges against Toyota's former chief designer Gustav Brunner over software which was used to design the TF103 and TF104 chassis. The prosecutors believe that this software came from Ferrari.
In the German legal system the prosecution service investigates alleged crimes and determines if there are grounds for a formal indictment. If the prosecuotrs decide that there is sufficient evidence the case is then transferred to the appropriate court, where the presiding judge decides if a trial is necessary.
In the case of Toyota matters are complicated by the fact that both Italian and German authorities are involved and to date the only charges made have been in Italy where Modena public prosecutor Fausto Casari has formally indicted former Ferrari employees Angelo Santini and Mauro Iacconi on charges of stealing information from the Ferrari F1 team and giving it to Toyota. Casari has recommended that charges against a third man (Antonio Tentorio) be dropped. The case is due to be heard at the Tribunale di Modena in the next few months.
The possibility of charges in Germany can only add to Toyota's embarrassment about the affair.
Brunner left Toyota a few weeks ago, a move which the team said was due to a restructuring.
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