Frankfurt am Main, Sept 24 (AFP/APP):Weeks after its latest attempted new start with an all-electric car, Volkswagen is again in the legal weeds over its years-old “dieselgate” scandal, as charges against top executives pile on top of mass lawsuits by investors and car owners.
In a new blow to the car giant, German prosecutors said Tuesday they had charged Volkswagen’s chief executive Herbert Diess, former boss Martin Winterkorn and supervisory board chief Hans Dieter Poetsch with “market manipulation”.
In a 636-page indictment, prosecutors in the north German city of Brunswick said the three were “accused of deliberately informing capital markets too late about the significant payment obligations in the billions arising from the so-called ‘diesel scandal’, thereby illegally influencing the share price.”
Tuesday’s move means the trio are on the threshold of a full trial, like Rupert Stadler, former head of Volkswagen subsidiary Audi, who was charged by Munich prosecutors in July.
Judges must now decide if and when the case will be heard.
At issue is the sprawling 12-brand Volkswagen group’s 2015 admission to manipulating 11 million vehicles worldwide to fool regulators’ emissions tests.