Lyon, France - French police have tracked down the IP address of the computer used by the alleged thief of Michael Schumacher's medical records to the Swiss helicopter firm that transported the injured Formula One champion.
A doctors' briefing on Schumacher's treatment after he suffered a devastating ski accident in December 2013 was stolen and offered for sale for €50 000 (R731 500) in June after he was transferred from hospital in Grenoble to a clinic in Switzerland.
French police opened a criminal probe into the theft of the document, which prosecutors said consisted of several dozen pages that summarise the seven-times world champion's treatment in Grenoble.
A Zurich-based helicopter company, Rega, admitted on Monday it had transported Schumacher, 45, to a clinic in Lausanne after he emerged from a coma, but claimed that it had “no knowledge of the investigation and had not been contacted by the authorities”.
The firm - the main operator of air ambulances in Switzerland - admitted that it had received a medical report on the star from his doctors in Grenoble before the flight but believed “patient confidentiality had been preserved”.
French, Swiss and German journalists were contacted by email in June and offered a dossier on Schumacher's health by somebody calling himself ‘Kagemusha’ (Shadow Warrior) - a reference to a 1980 film by the Japanese director Akira Kurosawa.
The person had attempted to hide their identity behind several other online aliases as they contacted journalists, the last of which was “Jeremy Martin”.
The offer first came to light when a journalist from the German daily, Bild, contacted the former racing driver's spokeswoman, Sabine Kehm.
Grenoble prosecutor Jean-Yves Coquillat said at the time the report offered for sale was likely to have been a draft left in a hospital bin rather than the final version of what was apparently a summary written by Schumacher's doctor for his transfer to Switzerland. Kehm has warned that the documents are confidential and promised to sue anybody who publishes them.
Schumacher had spent more than five months in hospital in Grenoble after sustaining serious head injuries in a skiing accident at Meribel on December 29.