BERLIN, 6 June 2009 - Prosecutors charged former Volkswagen chief executive Martin Winterkorn with giving false testimony before the German parliament when he said that he was unaware of the carmaker's diesel emissions cheating before it became public.
Volkswagen is struggling to draw the line under its biggest corporate crisis ever in which it has admitted to using illegal software to carry out U.S. diesel engine tests. The dieselgate scandal has cost the German carmaker more than 32 billion euros in fines, refits and legal costs.
In his testimony, the accused claimed only in September 2015 to have been informed of the defeat - devices, as the Berlin prosecutors said in a statement on Wednesday, confirming an earlier report in the Bild newspaper.
According to the indictment, he had been aware that the engine control software of some VW vehicles had been equipped with a function to manipulate exhaust values in testing, the prosecutors added.
A spokesperson for Winterkorn, who during 2007 and 2015 was Volkswagen CEO when he left the company, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Winterkorn said in late March it would seek damages from Volkswagen for breaching his duty of care for failing to fully and quickly clarify circumstances behind the use of unlawful software functions in some diesel engines.
On 23 Sept 2015, a week after the scandal was discovered, Winterkorn resigned as CEO on 23 September 2015. Is it the wrong to say, "I do," a tweet?