Braunschweig (dpa) – In the fraud process relating to the VW diesel affair, an ex-manager accused two co-defendants of “false statements”. set up, said the former head of development of the VW core brand. Four ex-managers and engineers of the group are indicted before the regional court in Braunschweig. You are accused of, among other things, commercial and gang fraud with manipulated software in millions of cars (Ref .: 6 KLs 23 / 19).
He only had full knowledge of the illegal activities in the USA and Europe in a board meeting on 20. September 2015 received, said the defendant. Two days earlier, «Dieselgate» was blown in the USA by a letter from the environmental agency CARB. Shortly afterwards, CEO Martin Winterkorn resigned with an emotional farewell declaration, but emphasized that he was “not aware of any wrongdoing.”
Criminal proceedings begin without Winterkorn
Six years later the criminal process began without Winterkorn. The 74 – year-old does not have to appear in the Braunschweiger Stadthalle for the time being due to health problems. His procedural complex remains separate, a complaint from the public prosecutor’s office, however, rejected the Higher Regional Court (OLG) as inadmissible. For the process of dealing with one of the biggest economic scandals, more than 130 negotiation days are planned until the summer 2023.
After the first five days of the process all four defendants had the chance to comment on the allegations. In reports lasting several hours, they each described their version – above all on the genesis of the “US 07” project, with which VW wanted to enter the US market with a “clean diesel”. The first assessment is that none of the accused former VW executives sees the main responsibility for the scandal with themselves.
Partly mutual accusations
The start of this lengthy process was on the contrary, rather shaped by serious – sometimes mutual – accusations. The former head of development claims to have heard of a defeat device that was used to bypass parts of the emissions control system until August 2015. Even in the previous month, there was only talk of “irregularities that might not be in conformity with the law”.
Previously, another ex-manager had stated that the so-called acoustic function was never separate for him had been presented. In the context of the “Dieselgate” investigation, the term is a kind of cover for the exhaust gas fraud program. Before the introduction of a “clean diesel” on the US market, there were many problems; according to the engine expert, the acoustic function played no particular role for the exhaust scandal. The impression that technicians decided overnight to cheat customers is wrong, said a former head of drive electronics at Volkswagen. An expert in exhaust aftertreatment made serious accusations against the former CEO Winterkorn and the co-accused ex-board member. The process will continue on Tuesday (October 5th). Then the criminal chamber could begin with its questions to the defendants.