The Prosecutor from the German city of Braunschweig has opened a summary against the former president of Volkswagen
Martin Winterkorn, which had to resign after uncovering the scandal of
, and imputes it for fraud and unfair competition, by not preventing the manipulation of engines to mask the emission levels in the tests.
The indictment also includes the charges of embezzlement, tax evasion and falsification of documents, for an estimated period between November 2006 and September 2015. Four other executives are imputed to it.
The deception goes back a decade
The defendants were part of a continued deception that started in 2006, it is noted. According to a statement from the Office of the Prosecutor, Winterkorn was aware of the existence of the system since at least May 25, 2014, despite making public statements that he did not know it shortly after the fraud was announced in September 2015.
Winterkorn, knowing of the existence of the software, not only did not try to eliminate it, but promoted a software supposedly updated and valued at 23 million euros, which actually served to maintain the deception of the manipulations.
Winterkorn was indicted in the United States for the same crime in 2018
The case of the broadcasts came to light in September 2015, as a result of investigations undertaken in the United States, followed by the resignation of the then president, despite the fact that he claimed he was not responsible for what happened, and other executives allegedly responsible.
The Prosecutor's Office of Braunschweig opened investigations against Winterkorn in 2017, in parallel to the series of proceedings conducted by the United States Justice and other German prosecutors in relation to the diesel scandal. Winterkorn was charged for the same case in the United States in May 2018. Volkswagen was forced to remove hundreds of thousands of vehicles around the world after uncovering the system to limit emissions.
It was verified that the affected engines emitted in real conditions of circulation oxides of nitrogen in quantities very superior to the allowed thing and that counted on a software that detected when they were being put under tests of broadcasts. When the software detected the tests, it reduced the performance of the engine so that the emissions of nitrogen oxides were adjusted to the maximum allowed in the United States.