Mosley hits back after Vatanen legal threats

(GMM) Max Mosley has hit back after Ari Vatanen accused him of breaching French law and defaming him.

In a letter leaked to the press, the Finn Vatanen had questioned the outgoing FIA president for favoring his rival Jean Todt for the role, warning that he might take legal action.

But in a written reply, published by the FIA on Friday, Mosley hit back by suggesting Vatanen is guilty of hypocrisy, because at a lunch in July the 1981 world rally champion "repeated asked me to support you".

And an FIA press release urged "all candidates to avoid negative campaigning and prejudicial leaks to the media".

Briton Mosley, 69, said in his letter to Vatanen that his backing of Todt is only a personal opinion, and expressed surprise that he thinks defamatory remarks were included in his recent letter to Jordan's Prince Feisal.

"I know of no provision of French or any other law which prevents an outgoing office holder offering his personal view on who is most qualified to be his successor," said Mosley.

He also dismissed as "wild and irresponsible" Vatanen's claims that FIA resources have been deployed to benefit Todt, and actually accuses the former European parliamentarian of benefiting from other funds so that clubs can attend rallies to support him.

"Perhaps you should take advice as to whether such direct financial aid is lawful," Mosley wrote to Vatanen. "I suspect the response will be that it is inappropriate but not illegal."

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