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Schumacher file theft suspect found dead in Zurich cell

A man suspected of involvement in the theft of medical files regarding Formula One champion Michael Schumacher has been found hanged. Zurich police had arrested the suspect Tuesday.

On Wednesday, Swiss prosecutors confirmed the death of a man linked to a case involving the theft of documents belonging to Schumacher. The unidentified suspect had been found hanged in his police cell earlier in the day.

In June, Formula One champion Michael Schumacher emerged from his coma. He was subsequently transferred to a French hospital in Grenoble to the University Hospital of Lausanne (CHUV) under a pseudonym.

It was later discovered that his medical records had been leaked and sold for 60,000 Swiss francs ($67,200/50,000 euros). Several weeks later, French prosecutors traced the IP address to a computer at Swiss air ambulance company Rega, which had organized the 45-year-old Schumacher's ambulance transport to Lausanne.

The Zurich-based company has denied that its staff was involved in the theft and, in July, filed a criminal complaint against "unknown persons" for violating professional secrecy.

Police arrested the suspect on Tuesday. He was reportedly a Rega employee.

Schumacher suffered a traumatic brain injury in late December after falling and hitting his head while skiing off-piste in France. Doctors then placed him in an artificial coma. They also operated to remove some of the blood clots from his brain, but some were left because they were too deeply embedded.

He is currently undergoing rehabilitation in Lausanne.

During a career that spanned the better part of two decades, Schumacher won 91 Grand Prix races and seven Formula One drivers' championships.

kms/mkg (AP, AFP, Reuters)