German prosecutors charge former VW CEO Winterkorn with fraud

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FRANKFURT/BERLIN (Reuters) – German prosecutors charged former Volkswagen boss Martin Winterkorn with fraud on Monday over his role in the carmaker’s manipulation of diesel emissions testing, more than three years after the scandal came to light.

FILE PHOTO: Former Volkswagen chief executive Martin Winterkorn leaves after testifying to a German parliamentary committee on the carmaker’s emissions scandal in Berlin, Germany, January 19, 2017. REUTERS/Hannibal Hanschke

The German case comes nearly a year after the United States filed criminal charges against Winterkorn, accusing him of conspiring to cover up the German carmaker’s diesel emissions test cheating.

The prosecutors office in the German city of Braunschweig said in a statement that Winterkorn and four other managers faced charges. It did not give the names of the other four or say whether they were still employed by Volkswagen.

A spokesman for Winterkorn did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Volkswagen Chief Executive Herbert Diess, who only joined the carmaker in July 2015 and became CEO a year ago, said he was not among those charged.

“I am not among the accused. I do not expect to be charged,” Diess said on the sidelines of the Shanghai auto show.

Volkswagen admitted in September