Former Audi CEO Stadler charged over Dieselgate scandal

Volkswagen

Volkswagen

German prosecutors said on Wednesday that they had charged former Audi chief executive Rupert Stadler with fraud over the Volkswagen subsidiary's role in the "dieselgate" emissions cheating scandal.

People familiar with the proceedings told Reuters that Stadler has denied wrongdoing.

The US Department of Justice issued an arrest warrant for former VW CEO Martin Winterkorn in May 2018, but it is highly unlikely he would be extradited to face trial in the US. The three unnamed individuals were charged with having developed engines used in Audi, Volkswagen and Porsche models that had software that made the emissions controls work better on the test stand than in real-life driving.

Stadler was charged along with three others, whose identities are yet to be revealed, as part of a German investigation into the emissions-cheating scandal.

The charges relate to sales of 250,712 Audi cars, 71,577 Volkswagens and 112,131 Porsches.

Hatz's lawyer said the charges are false and would hold up a legal defence.

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The Munich prosecutors on Wednesday declined to identify the defendants, except for Stadler.

Mr. Stadler found out "at the latest in September 2015", when Volkswagen admitted to selling 11 million cheating vehicles worldwide after an American investigation.

Winterkorn had also neglected to inform customers of, and did not prevent, the continued installation of fraudulent software, the prosecutors have said.

Winterkorn's lawyer has said he can not comment on the charges because he had been denied access to important case files.

But it added: "Until this has happened, the presumption of innocence must prevail".

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