The persecutors should hold responsible the entire former Volkswagen management board for their actions prior to the public eruption of the emissions scandal, German’s financial authority said.
The German prosecutors have opened this week an investigation targeting the former Volkswagen Chief Executive Officer Martin Winterkorn and another unnamed board member for manipulating the markets by not disclosing earlier the financial implications of the emissions cheating scheme. The second top manager has subsequently been confirmed as VW brand chief Herbert Diess. But an insider from Germany’s Bafin, the Federal Financial Supervisory Authority who initially triggered the prosecutors’ probe by filing in the complaint, said that the watchdog believed that the entire former management board should be under inquiry and held responsible if the members are found responsible. This would mark as targets the Chairman Hans Dieter Poetsch and CEO Matthias Mueller, who were both members of the management board.
More trouble is coming to Europe’s biggest automaker, as lawyers representing institutional funds filed a lawsuit against VW this week over losing billions of dollars after the company admitted on September 22 last year in front of the US regulators that it cheated on the emissions tests. All this new scrutiny comes just before VW’s annual shareholder meeting on June 22, which promises to be a very tense one with all shareholders looking for answers, especially considering the fact they would need to endorse the management board’s actions for 2015 through voting.