In addition to fraud, the former VW CEO Winterkorn also has to answer in court for alleged market manipulation. He is said to have informed investors in the diesel scandal too late.
Former VW boss Martin Winterkorn also has to go to court on charges of market manipulation. This was announced by the competent chamber of the Braunschweig Regional Court. This means that there will not only be fraud proceedings against the ex-manager, but also criminal proceedings for allegedly too late information from investors in the diesel scandal.
The court stated that Winterkorn should "have deliberately not informed the capital market in good time" despite knowledge of the installation of an inadmissible defeat device (…) and the considerable financial risk that has been emerging since spring 2015 (…). The indictment of the Braunschweig public prosecutor’s office was therefore admitted to the main hearing unchanged.
VW share price crashed due to diesel scandals
The prosecutors had also accused the current Volkswagen group boss Herbert Diess and the chairman of the supervisory board, Hans Dieter Potsch, of market manipulation. In their case, however, the proceedings were discontinued in return for monetary payments of 4.5 million euros each. At the time the emissions scandal was exposed, Potsch was the automaker’s CFO.
After the manipulation of millions of diesel engines became public in September 2015, the VW share price crashed temporarily. Investors are deceived and demand billions in damages in a civil lawsuit.
Winterkorn doesn’t want to have known anything
Winterkorn’s lawyer Felix Dorr had accusations that his mandate had known early on about the impending extent of the diesel crisis, initially "with all determination" rejected: "Prof. Dr. Winterkorn had no early knowledge of the targeted use of a prohibited engine control software in US diesel -Car, "said the lawyer. "Essential information that would have enabled him to correctly classify known problems with US diesel engines did not reach him at the time." The public prosecutor and the regional court saw it differently.
Winterkorn also has to go to the dock in Braunschweig for commercial and gang-related fraud, together with four other, partly former VW executives. Originally, the public prosecutor’s office was "only" aiming at serious fraud. However, the district court is of the opinion that "buyers of certain vehicles from the Volkswagen Group were deceived on a large scale about their properties, in particular the use of a so-called disconnection device in the engine control software".