Stepney handed jail sentence over 'Spygate' saga
30 September 2010 – Nigel Stepney, the Ferrari engineer at the core of the ‘Spygate’ espionage scandal involving the Italian team and McLaren, has been sentenced to one year and eight months in prison for his part in the situation, according to the Italian press.
The controversy rocked the sporting world in 2007, with Stepney having passed on a multi-page dossier of Ferrari technical secrets to Mike Coughlan, then Chief Designer of McLaren; as well as the dismissal of both men from each outfit, the scenario also resulted in McLaren being excluded from that season’s Constructors’ Championship.
Despite his 20-month jail term, it is believed that Stepney will never serve the sentence due to a technicality in Italy’s legal system.
The punishment also includes a fine of 600 euros (520 pounds), which will be paid.
“We are satisfied, even though my client has always denied sabotage,” Stepney lawyer Sonia Bartolini is quoted as saying by the Gazzetta di Modena following the final hearing in Sassuolo – a 20-minute car journey from Ferrari home town Maranello.
“We have to thank the prosecutor for agreeing to a plea bargain – at first, the sentence was much higher.”
Also on Thursday:
Di Montezemolo: This is the Ferrari I want