McLaren has been summoned to appear before an extraordinary meeting of the FIA World Motor Sport Council to answer charges relating to the ongoing row surrounding chief designer Mike Coughlan.

Ferrari has accused Coughlan and wife Trudy of stealing technical information, after the latter was said to have taken a 780-page Ferrari document to a photocopying shop to be reproduced.

That information is believed to have come from Ferrari's ex-head of performance Nigel Stepney, who was dismissed from his role last week and was then named by the team as the source of the suspected leak just a day after McLaren announced it had suspended a 'senior employee' - later named as Coughlan - over obtaining information from a rival team.

McLaren boss Ron Dennis has maintained that the team was completely unaware of any wrong-doing prior to the information being found at Coughlan's home and said none of the data found in the document had found its way into the design or development of its race-winning MP4-22.

However, the team will now go before the FIA in Paris on Thursday 26 July to answer charges relating to 'fraudulent conduct or any act prejudicial to the interests of any competition or to the interests of motor sport generally'.

"Representatives of Vodafone McLaren Mercedes have been requested to appear before an extraordinary meeting of the FIA World Motor Sport Council in Paris on Thursday, July 26, 2007," a statement issued by the governing body read.

"The team representatives have been called to answer a charge that between March and July 2007, in breach of Article 151c of the International Sporting Code, Vodafone McLaren Mercedes had unauthorised possession of documents and confidential information belonging to Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro, including information that could be used to design, engineer, build, check, test, develop and/or run a 2007 Ferrari Formula One car."

The announcement comes a day after a high court hearing between Coughlan and Ferrari was called off at the last minute when the 48-year-old agreed to provide a sworn declaration answering questions as to how he came by the confidential information.

 

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