The Latest: VW board meets after charges against leaders
BERLIN (AP) — The Latest on the charges brought against Volkswagen’s bosses (all times local):
Volkswagen’s board of directors is convening to discuss the next steps in light of indictments against current CEO Herbert Diess and board chairman Hans Dieter Poetsch on charges of securities market manipulation.
A statement from the board said Tuesday that the board would convene “immediately.”
The board said it “has already considered the possibility of charges being brought by the public prosecutor’s office.”
Former CEO Martin Winterkorn was also indicted on charges that the executives did not tell investors in time about Volkswagen’s looming scandal over manipulation of diesel emissions. At the time, Diess had just started as head of the Volkswagen division and became CEO in April 2018. The company says the charges are “groundless.”
Volkswagen is rejecting as “groundless” the market manipulation charges filed against its current and former leadership by German prosecutors.
Hiltrud Dorothea Werner, the board member responsible for integrity and legal affairs, said Tuesday that Volkswagen had “meticulously investigated” the matter with the help of internal and external legal experts over nearly four years.
She said in a statement that “the result is clear: the allegations are groundless.” Werner added that, if the indictment goes to trial, the company is “confident that the allegations will prove to be unfounded.”
The company’s supervisory board said it had already considered the possibility of charges, and that the board’s executive committee “will convene a meeting immediately to discuss next steps” following the indictment of CEO Herbert Diess, chairman Hans Dieter Poetsch and ex-CEO Martin Winterkorn.
German prosecutors say they have charged Volkswagen CEO Herbert Diess and chairman Hans Dieter Poetsch, along with former CEO Martin Winterkorn, with market manipulation in connection with the diesel emissions scandal that erupted in 2015.
Prosecutors in Braunschweig said Tuesday that the three men are accused of deliberately having informed markets too late about the costs to the company that would result from the scandal.
That, they said in a statement, meant that they improperly influenced the company’s share price.
Winterkorn resigned shortly after the scandal became public.