Published: Thu, May 10, 2018
Markets | By Otis Pena

Ex-VW CEO Indicted Over Emissions Scandal

Ex-VW CEO Indicted Over Emissions Scandal

German investigators will keep investigating former Volkswagen AG CEO Martin Winterkorn's role in the automaker's emissions test cheating scandal, the Braunschweig prosecutors' office stated.

Winterkorn officially announced his resignation as CEO in September 2015, though other senior executives who were on the company's board of management at the time continue to serve in senior positions within the company. Six of the executives so far charged are in Germany, which does not generally extradite its citizens. In court filings, U.S. Attorney Matthew Schneider says the indictment was unsealed "because there is no longer a belief that unsealing these documents will compromise an ongoing investigation". A Volkswagen spokeswoman declined to comment, except to reiterate that the company is still cooperating.

Winterkorn is the ninth person to be charged over the dieselgate scandal by USA prosecutors. In total, nine people have been charged and two have pleaded guilty in the case. Winterkorn and the other five, Richard Dorenkamp, Heinz-Jakob Neusser, Jens Hadler, Bernd Gottweis and Juergen Peter, are in Germany, where they are safe from extradition to the USA under the German Constitution. Prosecutors in Germany are also investigating the VW emissions issue.

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The indictment alleged that Winterkorn specifically approved the efforts to mislead regulators about the falsified emissions claims.

In total, VW has agreed to spend more than $25 billion in the United States to address claims from owners, environmental regulators, states and dealers and offered to buy back about 500,000 polluting US vehicles.

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