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Last Updated: Monday, 16 January 2006, 17:53 GMT
Ex-Toyota men face spying charges
Toyota's 2003 Formula One car
Toyota are accused of using Ferrari software to design the 2003 car
Charges have been filed against three former Toyota Formula One officials suspected of using technology stolen from Ferrari to test car aerodynamics.

The officials are accused of violating German law by using a data analysis programme brought over by a technician who joined Toyota from Ferrari in 2002.

They used the programme later that year and in 2003, said Cologne prosecutors.

"Toyota Motorsport would like to stress that the charges have not been brought against the company," said Toyota.

The company named Ove Andersson (former vice-chairman), Gustav Brunner (former chief designer) and Rene Hilhorst (former head of aerodynamics) as the three men implicated.

Toyota wishes to refrain from further comment, but remains confident that the situation will be resolved with a positive conclusion for those involved
Toyota statement

But it added in a statement that: "Toyota Motorsport has not been formally notified of the matter and does not have full knowledge of the specific issues."

"For this reason, Toyota wishes to refrain from further comment, but remains confident that the situation will be resolved with a positive conclusion for those involved."

The charges were lodged by Cologne prosecutors in December and a German court specialising in economic crimes will hear the case at an undisclosed time.

In 2005, Toyota had their best year in 2005 since entering the sport in 2002.

The team, with drivers Ralf Schumacher and Italian Jarno Trulli, finished fourth, just 12 points adrift of Ferrari.




SEE ALSO
Toyota employee in 'spying' row
02 Nov 03 |  Formula One


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