German Prosecutors Backpedal on Winterkorn Investigation, ‘Regret’ Earlier Comments

By Paul Riegler on 1 October 2015
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The diesel engine in a VW Golf TDI

The Staatsanwaltschaft or state prosecutor in Braunschweig, a neighboring city to Wolfsburg in Lower Saxony, Germany, said there was in fact no formal investigation of former Volkswagen CEO Martin Winterkorn, who resigned his position one week ago.

“A formal investigation of Prof. Dr. Winterkorn is not currently being conducted,” said Birgit Seel, a spokesman for the state prosecutor’s office.

The statement, issued on Thursday, seemed to contradict a news release that the prosecutor’s office had issued Monday, which indicated that the former CEO was the target of a criminal investigation on suspicion of fraud.

The prosecutors said that they “regretted” the impression caused by the earlier statement.

“Insofar as the impression that has been given, the Braunschweig state prosecutor regrets this and the irritations caused by [earlier] press releases in this context,” Seel said.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)