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DoJ subpoenas Gates' former girlfriend over Vobis

Justice is chasing claims that evidence was deliberately destroyed

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Stefanie Reichel, a former Microsoft manager who, according to Wendy Goldman Rohm's book The Microsoft File was once Bill Gates' girlfriend (and then Microsoft general counsel Bill Neukom's), made a deposition in the Caldera versus Microsoft case which is wending its way through the Salt Lake City district court. The DoJ has now confirmed that it has subpoenaed the tapes because it is interested in emails that appear to have been deliberately destroyed because they contained incriminating evidence about Microsoft's dealings with Vobis, and Microsoft's efforts to "persuade" Vobis to switch to MS-DOS from DR DOS. The DoJ has said that it is unlikely that Reichel would be called as a witness, but the deposition could give evidence that Microsoft had tried to obstruct justice, or give supporting evidence that Microsoft had used anti-competitive measures, so increasing the evidence of a general pattern of illegal practices. Charles Rule, a legal consultant to Microsoft, complained that the issue wasn't in the original Complaint [in May], but as the information only came to light recently, and it is said to contain the allegation that Microsoft destroyed incriminating evidence, this is unlikely to result in its being excluded by the judge. According to the Los Angeles Times, Reichel is an "unco-operative witness" in the Caldera case, and has hired a prominent LA lawyer to help her resist the DoJ's attempts to get her co-operation. Who could be guaranteeing her legal bills we wonder? Reichel was born in Germany and now works in marketing for the Americas Cup team. ® Complete Register trial coverage Click for more stories Click for story index

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