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Iacconi claims innocence in spying case

Former Ferrari employee Mauro Iacconi still insists he is innocent of charges of industrial espionage in the Toyota spying case, despite being found guilty by a Modena court last week.

Iacconi and Angelo Santini, another former Ferrari employee, were handed suspended sentences last week after being found guilty. Both men's lawyers have appealed against the verdict.

Iacconi was found guilty of misappropriation of a CD-ROM with data, files and technical drawings, used in 2002 and 2003 to develop race cars while working for Toyota.

But the Italian said the data obtained was useless as it was too old to apply to a then current design.

"It's true that the Toyota TF103 looked like a copy of the F2002, also because of its red colour, but it's normal for F1 cars to resemble the winning machine," Iacconi was quoted as saying by Gazzetta dello Sport.

"In the trial, my last aerodynamic chief at Maranello, Nick Tombazis, defended me by highlighting the fact that the Ferrari parts found in the CD-ROM were obsolete and unusable, so there was no point copying them.

"Who knows, maybe the whole point of the accusation was to put a stop to the brain drain from Ferrari. I'm known in my village for the social work I do; I don't want a stain I don't deserve."

Iacconi started working for Ferrari in 1986 to build their first wind tunnel and left in 2000 to work for Toyota.

After three years in Cologne, he returned to Italy to build his own wind tunnel, but had to abandon it all due to the industrial espionage trial.

"At 43 years of age I hope I'll be able to find a job soon, even if it's not car-related, just to start over," he added. "This story has burned me out."

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