Martin Winterkorn, Other Ex-VW Execs Face the Music in Germany

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Volkswagen Group

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Former Volkswagen CEO Martin Winterkorn is one of five former Volkswagen executives who will be standing trial in a German court over their actions in the diesel emissions cheating scandal.

The five were charged in 2019 for using defeat devices to cheat emissions tests, but a court has modified the charges so that now the five could be charged as a criminal gang.

“The fraud charges concern 9 million vehicles sold in Europe and the U.S.,” the court said in a statement. “Buyers may have lost 100 million euros.”

The court also said that since the pollution levels of Volkswagen vehicles were higher than thought, they should’ve been hit with higher taxes, and because of that, the former execs should also face charges of tax evasion and false advertising.

A few other charges against Winterkorn, including breach of trust, were dropped.

The court’s judges did indicate to prosecutors that they were likely to reject demands to have the executives’ bonuses seized.

An attorney representing Winterkorn denied the charges. Volkswagen, for its part, reminds observers that it has new processes in place, it’s no longer in the prosecutorial crosshairs, and that said, the former execs are innocent until proven guilty.

The case is allowed to proceed, but a trial date is unclear.

[Image: Volkswagen]

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