The VW diesel process: memory gaps and information criticism Free press

Those involved in this process have been grappling with the details of Volkswagen’s diesel scam for almost a year. However, the latest developments do not indicate a breakthrough in the near future. Contrary.


The first serious case of fraud in the Volkswagen emission scandal is currently characterized by memory-deficient statements and criticism of the prosecutor’s office. Several defense lawyers criticized the disclosure of the information by the prosecution.

Some are informed late, some questions first answered in the negative and shortly thereafter in the affirmative, said the lawyer at the hearing before the Brunswick Circuit Court. “We cannot carry out such a procedure,” he said. “It’s impossible,” agreed his colleague.

Four former directors accused

For almost a year, the proceedings against the four former executives of the car concern have progressed rather slowly. The accused are, inter alia, accused of trade frauds and gangs with fraudulent exhaust control programs in millions of diesel cars. The manipulations known as “Dieselgate” were revealed in the fall of 2015. All defendants in the trial denied primary responsibility for the scandal.

In response to criticism of the way the prosecution works, chairman Christian Schütz reiterated his call for relevant information to be provided to all involved in the trial. Similar allegations had previously appeared in the course of the proceedings. At first, it was unclear whether the prosecution would react with a statement.

In terms of content, the trial was continued with the prosecutor’s statement, who reported, inter alia, interrogation of a witness in 2016. As an investigator, the 58-year-old spoke to a VW product safety lawyer this year. She admitted that six years after this interrogation, the memories are not fresh. However, on the basis of the protocols, she recreated some of the content of the conversation, about which the interlocutor from 2016 also talked with former VW boss Martin Winterkorn.

Details on Winterkorn

Later, the prosecutor also reported interviews with a VW employee who dealt with the approval cases. He reportedly reported, among other things, that Winterkorn’s outburst lasted a few minutes after the infringement was notified, that is, the US authorities announced the violations, on September 18, 2015. Winterkorn was upset that he had not been informed. On September 23, 2015, Winterkorn stepped down as CEO. The former CEO has admitted to manipulating Volkswagen in the past, but has always denied any responsibility.

However, witness descriptions such as those of the VW exhaust scandal are often only second-hand. As most of the witnesses considered authoritative have recently exercised their right to remain silent, individual prosecutors should report on their own important witness interviews. Since it was a few years ago, memory gaps are now ubiquitous in the process. The trial will continue next Wednesday (9:00 AM). Overall, the dates are scheduled for January 2024. (dpa)

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