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Ex-Volkswagen chief to stand trial on more ‘dieselgate’ charges

Agence France-Presse

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Ex-Volkswagen chief to stand trial on more ‘dieselgate’ charges

(FILES) This file photo taken on September 22, 2015 shows the logo of German car maker Volkswagen in Hanover, central Germany. Pollution from 2.6 million Volkswagen cars sold in Germany between 2008 and 2015, manipulated to seem less polluting than they were, will cause 1,200 premature deaths in Europe, a study into the health impacts of the fraud said on March 3, 2017. "The researchers estimate that 1,200 people in Europe will die early, each losing as much as a decade of their life, as a result of excess emissions generated," said the Massachusetts Institute of Technology which took part in the study. / AFP PHOTO / DPA / JULIAN STRATENSCHULTE


Martin Winterkorn allegedly 'deliberately failed to inform the capital market in good time' despite knowledge of the emissions-cheating software

Volkwagen‘s former chief Martin Winterkorn will stand trial for market manipulation in connection with the huge “dieselgate” scandal, on top of previously announced fraud charges, a German court said on Thursday, September 24.

Winterkorn allegedly “deliberately failed to inform the capital market in good time” despite knowledge of the installation of emissions-cheating software in 500,000 cars in the United States market, said a regional court in Brunswick, near VW’s base in Wolfsburg.

The former VW chief executive is accused of having withheld the “considerable financial risk arising from claims for damages and penalties in the US since spring 2015,” the court added.

Winterkorn’s lawyers said he “firmly rejects” the court’s accusations.  

“The facts underlying this accusation are complicated and the relevant capital market law issues are largely disputed,” they said in a statement. 

“The defense had shown that the allegations made by the public prosecutor’s office were unfounded on both factual and legal grounds.” 

The same court said earlier this month that Winterkorn would face trial for fraud among other charges in relation to the long-running diesel scandal that has rocked the German auto industry since it came to light 5 years ago. 

Volkswagen refused to comment directly on the new charges, but said it “remains convinced that it has properly fulfilled its disclosure obligations in connection with the diesel issue.”

VW admitted in September 2015 that it installed devices in 11 million diesel vehicles worldwide to make them seem less polluting in lab tests than they actually were on the road.

Winterkorn resigned days after the revelations, while denying any personal wrongdoing.

The saga has already cost VW more than 30 billion euros ($34.9 million) in fines, legal costs, and compensation payments to car owners.

Current Volkswagen CEO Herbert Diess and supervisory board chair Hans Dieter Poetsch were previously accused of market manipulation, but proceedings were dropped after a 9-million-euro settlement. –

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