German prosecutors on Thursday dropped their investigation against the former chief of Volkswagen and the head of Porsche for suspected market manipulation in relation to the long-running “dieselgate” scandal

Frankfurt am Main, ( IPP – 20th Aug, 2020 ) :German prosecutors on Thursday dropped their investigation against the former chief of Volkswagen and the head of Porsche for suspected market manipulation in relation to the long-running “dieselgate” scandal.

Investigators in the southwestern city of Stuttgart have been looking into whether Porsche SE, the holding company that controls Volkswagen, informed investors too late about the emissions cheating affair, in which manipulating software was installed in millions of engines worldwide.

Porsche SE chief Hans Dieter Poetsch and former VW chief executive Matthias Mueller were both under investigation.

But prosecutors called off proceedings against Poetsch, the chairman of VW’s supervisory board, in exchange for a payment of 1.5 million Euros ($1.8 million), while for Mueller, who led VW from 2015 until 2018, investigations have been called off without conditions.

However, a probe continues in Stuttgart into Mueller’s predecessor at VW, Martin Winterkorn, a spokeswoman told news agency DPA.

Winterkorn was charged with fraud in April 2019 and is awaiting a trial date.

Porsche SE welcomed the termination of the investigations.

“The supervisory board of Porsche SE continues to be of the opinion that the management board members have not breached their obligations under capital market law in connection with the diesel issue,” it said.

Poetsch’s fine would be paid by Porsche SE.

In May, a court in Brunswick cleared Poetsch and current VW chief executive Herbert Diess of charges of market manipulation after the company paid a settlement of nine million euros, or 4.5 million euros each.

The “dieselgate” controversy erupted in 2015 when the Wolfsburg-based auto giant admitted to manipulating 11 million vehicles to make them seem less polluting in lab than tests tan they actually were on the road.

The case shocked Germany and is seen as the country’s biggest post-war industrial scandal, but no executive has been convicted in Germany so far.

Rupert Stadler, the former boss of VW-owned brand Audi, will be the first to take the stand when he goes on trial to face fraud charges in September.

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