Frankfurt | The former boss of Audi, Rupert Stadler will be heard from 30 September in the framework of the “dieselgate”, the first high representative of the Volkswagen group to meet in Germany this scandal sprawling, announced on Monday the justice.
Mr. Stadler and three other executives or ex-executives of Audi had been returned at the end of July 2019, for “fraud”, “issuing false certificate” and “false advertising” in front of judges specialized in economic crimes.
The trial is expected to last until at least December 2022, indicates the regional court of Munich in a press release.
The public prosecutor accused Mr. Stadler, 57 years old, have continued to take a 434 000 diesel cars equipped software rigging their emissions of nitrogen dioxide, so that he has read “not later than the end of September 2015” of this manipulation.
For the time being, no official has been held in Germany in the scandal, revealed in September 2015, when Volkswagen has admitted to having rigged 11 million vehicles with a software that can make them appear less pollutants when tested in the laboratory and on the roads.
These manipulations have plunged the German automotive industry, the flagship industrial, and pride of the country, in a historical crisis in which it is still struggling to get out.
Joined Audi in 1990 and president and CEO for 11 years, beginning in 2007, Mr. Stadler had been placed in provisional detention for four months in 2018, suspected by the justice of seeking to influence witnesses.
It is one of the last great trial expected in Germany, while Volkswagen has drawn a line on a large part of criminal and civil laws.
The current CEO of the group, Herbert Diess, and the chairman of the supervisory board, Hans Dieter Pötsch, had also been expelled last September for manipulation of the financial markets. But they will avoid a lawsuit against a financial transaction (9 million euros) under an agreement with the justice.
The former boss of the automotive group, Martin Winterkorn, remains the last senior officer still in the anteroom of a trial.
The Volkswagen group has wiped at the end of may a first setback for justice in Germany before the highest civil court, which has ordered a partial refund of clients, and will now propose amicable agreements to settle a large part of the 60 000 queries remaining in the country. And in the framework of a previous agreement, Volkswagen will pay at least 750 million euros to compensate 235, 000 clients.
But it is only a small part of the total bill for the scandal for the automaker, more than € 30 billion, including several billion in the United States to generously compensate the customers.
To the civilian, the last great trial is that of investors seeking compensation for the downturn in the share price after the revelations.
Audi for its part, had agreed in October 2018, to pay a fine of 800 million euros, decided by the public prosecutor of Munich, due to “breaches” in its “duty of oversight” concerning the approval of diesel cars.