Reviews Diesel scandal: Public prosecutor's office is bringing charges against eight other VW managers

01:00  24 september  2020
01:00  24 september  2020 Source:   handelsblatt.com

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The same charges were already brought against six other VW managers earlier this year, while former Volkswagen boss Martin Winterkorn and four other managers were charged in connection with the scandal last year. The first trial in the Volkswagen case in Germany starts next week - that of

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Insgesamt sind nun 19 größtenteils frühere VW-Manager angeklagt. © Bloomberg A total of 19 mostly former VW managers have now been charged.

19 executives are now accused - with damage of up to 77.9 billion euros. Defense lawyers raise massive allegations against the Braunschweig public prosecutors

In the legal processing of the diesel scandal at Volkswagen, the Braunschweig public prosecutor brought a third charge: eight former managers of the car manufacturer, some of whom were high-ranking, are accused. According to the Braunschweig public prosecutor, they are accused of "promoting, supporting or at least not preventing" the installation of the manipulation software for the exhaust gas cleaning of VW diesel vehicles "in their respective responsible position" between November 2006 and September 2015, despite knowledge of the illegality .

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BERLIN (Sputnik) - Munich prosecutors have filed charges in connection with the investigation into the manipulation of diesel emissions against four Top managers who were involved in the development and procurement at the company are among the defendants. The prosecutor ' s office has not yet

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It is about suspected fraud, false certification and competition violations as well as, in some cases, embezzlement and tax evasion. According to information from the Handelsblatt, the maximum damage in the 44-page charge is a sum of 77.9 billion euros.

According to information from the Handelsblatt, Frank Tuch and Bernd Gottweis are among the accused. Tuch used to be Head of Quality Management and General Representative at Volkswagen. Gottweis, who worked for VW from 2007 to 2014, was one of the closest personal employees of the former CEO Martin Winterkorn and most recently headed the Product Safety Committee.

Tuch did not want to comment on the indictment when asked, but had so far always rejected the allegations against the public prosecutor. The defender of Gottweis has not yet been available to answer questions. For Gottweis the present charge is not the first. In addition to Winterkorn, he is one of a group of six managers against whom the law enforcement authorities in the USA brought charges in 2018.

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Prosecutors in Germany connected the charges against Martin Winterkorn and four other managers to events that ran from 2006, when the diesel In charging Mr. Winterkorn and four Volkswagen managers whose names were not released, the public prosecutor ’ s office in Braunschweig tied the

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Both Tuch and Gottweis were concerned with the diesel issue at an early stage. In a letter dated May 23, 2014, which is available to the Handelsblatt, Tuch for Winterkorn lists various problems. It was explicitly about exceeding nitrogen oxide emissions in diesel cars in real operation.

Tuch wrote to Winterkorn: "The University of West Virginia, together with the Carb and the International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT), carried out emissions tests in real driving conditions." The note was enclosed with Winterkorn's weekend mail. It is still open to this day what happened to this note.

defense attorneys criticize the public prosecutor's office hard

The fact is that the results of the study were sobering: "The measurements on VW vehicles ... the NOx limit values ​​were clearly exceeded (factor 15 to 35)." his company had to act: "The ICCT handed over the test results to VW and asked for a corresponding comment." Tuch announced that he would report on further developments and the discussions with the authority.

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Volkswagen AG’ s supervisory board backed Chief Executive Officer Herbert Diess and Chairman Hans Dieter Poetsch, a day after German prosecutors charged the top managers with market manipulation related to the diesel -emissions scandal .

A few days later, Tuch received a note from the then head of the Product Safety Committee at Volkswagen, Bernd Gottweis. In extracts it says: "A well-founded explanation for the dramatically increased nitrogen oxide emissions cannot be given to the authorities."

Volkswagen held out the US authorities for more than a year. The group did not admit the manipulation until late summer 2015, and on September 18, the US environmental agency finally made it public. Shortly afterwards, the public prosecutors began to investigate in this country, in April 2019 they brought the first charge.

What is remarkable about the current indictment: The allegations also include those that the Braunschweig Regional Court only recently rejected when it allowed the first indictment against five Volkswagen managers, including ex-CEO Martin Winterkorn. As unfounded from the outset, the court rejected the public prosecutor's assumption that the defendants were guilty of embezzlement towards the Volkswagen Group.

There is also no reason to suspect indirect false certification because the manipulation of the registration certificates is not covered by this section of the law. A defense attorney for the now accused is therefore taking the prosecutor's office hard: It looks as if the first indictment was simply copied in parts, without taking into account the assessments of the regional court in the interim proceedings, the defense attorney told the Handelsblatt.

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Volkswagen had initially suggested that only lower-level executives knew of the diesel emissions cheating. Six former Volkswagen executives charged , including Winterkorn, are believed to be in Germany and have avoided facing U. S . prosecutors .

Volkswagen CEO Herbert Diess and the company' s chairman, Hans Dieter Pötsch, were charged by German prosecutors on Tuesday with stock market manipulation tied to the carmaker' s diesel emissions scandal .

The approach of the public prosecutor's office when bringing charges is also causing anger in defense circles. Walther Graf, who is defending a former development engineer, railed: “Our legal hearing has been severely injured, we last had access to files in July 2019. This morning we learned from the press secretary that charges had been brought. That's more than just bad style. ”

A total of 19 mostly former VW managers are now indicted. The first charge, which is directed against ex-CEO Winterkorn, ex-board member Heinz-Jakob Neußer and three other managers, had only recently been approved. The process could begin in a few months.

The Brunswick prosecutors brought a second charge against six other managers, including two former engine bosses, in January.

More: What you need to know about the charges against Martin Winterkorn

car manufacturer: Public prosecutor's office is investigating Porsche for fuel consumption .
© dpa At the end of August, the KBA announced that it had not found any deviations from the type approvals for gasoline engines from current production. The public prosecutor has initiated an investigation against Porsche. It is about a possible manipulation of fuel consumption. Porsche moves into the focus of the public prosecutor's office due to possible manipulation of fuel consumption.

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