Stoddart Hits Back at Mosley

FIA president Max Mosley has angered an absent Paul Stoddart after re-opening the subject of the Melbourne court dramas that threatened the smooth-running of the season-opening Australian Grand Prix

Stoddart Hits Back at Mosley

Stoddart, currently in Melbourne and missing his first race in five years, is three days through a course of antibiotics for what he called 'a virus from hell'. He has, however, seen a transcript of Mosley's comments regarding the case Minardi brought against the FIA in the Supreme Court of Victoria in a bid to prove that the governing body had acted outside its remit in respect of the 2005 regulations.

"They were a complete farce," Mosley said of the proceedings. "The court was just grossly misled. What was interesting is that the court were told a number of things which were not true and not told a number of things which they should have been told. In those sort of proceedings it's absolutely fundamental that you reveal all the details to the court because the other person isn't there. Not to reveal all the details is actually contempt of court.

"There is no way in the world that leading counsel says these things to the judge if he doesn't believe them to be true, it simply doesn't happen, so he was obviously given some extremely misleading instruction. If you read the (court) transcript you will see it is almost comical. As far as we are concerned it's not a problem because the fundamental principles were not even remotely followed."

Stoddart, however, told Autsport-Atlas: "I read Max's comments with utter disbelief. If one considers facts, not fiction, then the facts speak for themselves.

"First, the FIA was fully aware that we were going to the Victorian Supreme Court. Second, it was the FIA who 'threatened to cancel the Australian Grand Prix forthwith' and asked us to withdraw proceedings. And anyone in law knows that without the FIA's consent those proceedings could not have been withdrawn.

"Third, after a ridiculous press release threatening the future of Australian motor sport forever on Saturday afternoon in Melbourne, why, if the FIA felt so aggrieved, did they not do what they told the whole world they would do, and have the judge overturned?

"The clear answer," Stoddart went on, "is that after threatening to cancel the race and encouraging me to withdraw and taking advice from their own lawyers on Monday, they realised that they were in the wrong."

Stoddart admits that he now regrets not following the case through.

"I wish I hadn't withdrawn," he says. "Another jurisdiction, another time, another place and I wouldn't have pulled back."

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