Braunschweig (dpa) – The criminal case against four former Volkswagen Group managers and engineers in the diesel case opened Thursday in the regional court of Braunschweig. Judge Christian Schutz opened the main hearing, which will initially take place in City Hall due to the great public interest. The defendants are accused of, among other things, fraudulent activities and mass fraud using software that tampered with millions of cars (6 KLs 23/19). It emitted several times the permissible values of harmful nitrogen oxides on the road. The portion of the proceedings against former CEO Martin Winterkorn has been separated, and should begin later.
In September 2015, it became known in the USA that Volkswagen had used a widespread cheating program that admitted exhaust gas tests and only then activated full emissions cleaning. This sparked a global scandal that has cost the Wolfsburg-based company more than 32 billion euros so far. Diesel customers have already been compensated in some countries, but there are still compensation proceedings with investors as well as more criminal proceedings going on.
Shortly before the start of the Braunschweig trial, the Regional Court Criminal Chamber separated scheduled sessions with Winterkorn to “negotiate and decide separately”. This was justified by the health problems of the 74-year-old after her surgery. The prosecutor’s office filed a complaint – regardless of the outcome, the process is expected to take a long time. Currently, 133 days of negotiations are scheduled until the summer of 2023.
© dpa-infocom, dpa: 210916-99-239095 / 2
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