German authorities in Braunschweig have formalized the allegations of Volkswagen chief executive Herbert Diess, chairman Hans Dieter Poetsch and former CEO Martin Winterkorn of market manipulation in connection with the diesel emissions scandal that dates back to September 2015. The firm admitted in 2015 using illegal software to cheat on emissions tests.
VW said it was confident the allegations would prove groundless. According to what referred to Reuters by the company’s lawyers, Mr. Diess will continue to be CEO.
This is the second indictment in Germany by prosecutors in relation to the diesel scandal. Mr Winterkorn and three other VW managers were charged with fraud in April 2019.
In a statement on that case, prosecutors accused Mr Winterkorn of a “particularly serious” fraud, as well as a breach of competition laws. They said that the former chief executive should have alerted car owners and authorities in Europe and the US about the manipulation of diesel emissions tests sooner. They also accused him of approving a “useless” software update designed to conceal the true reason for the cars’ higher emission levels.
This came after the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) sued
Volkswagen and Mr Winterkorn a month earlier. The SEC claimed the firm misled investors by issuing billions of dollars worth of bonds and securities, without disclosing that it had cheated emissions tests.
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