Audi CEO arrested in diesel emissions probe

Image AFP  Christof Stache

Authorities in Munich arrested Audi CEO Rupert Stadler today (June 18) after a raid on his home last week reportedly led to concern that he could attempt to suppress evidence or impede the investigation.

German news agency dpa reported that prosecutors made a decision to seek Stadler's arrest due to fears he might try to evade justice.

A German judge has ordered that Stadler be remanded in custody.

A spokesman for Audi UK confirmed Stadler's arrest but was unable to comment further.

Munich prosecutors said Mr Stadler would be questioned by Wednesday, once he had spoken to his lawyers.

Audi had no immediate comment. Stadler, named a suspect in the long-running diesel probe days ago, is accused of fraud and falsifying public documents in relation to selling diesel cars in Europe. He has been indicted by USA authorities but is unlikely to face the charges as Germany doesn't extradite nationals to the US.

The scandal erupted three years ago, when it emerged that cars had been fitted with devices created to cheat emissions tests.

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Last month, it admitted that another 60,000 A6 and A7 models with diesel engines have emission software issues.

The fallout has cost the company almost $30 billion and led to criminal charges being levied against several employees.

In November 2015 Audi admitted installing emissions defeat devices in its cars, and Audi's been pegged in several reports as the source of the initial defeat software responsible for Dieselgate.

Winterkorn was charged with three counts of wire fraud and one of conspiring with other senior VW executives and employees to violate the Clean Air Act.

The Dieselgate scandal dates back to 2015, when Volkswagen was caught out by USA authorities for installing emissions cheating defeat device software in millions of diesel vehicles sold worldwide.

Volkswagen shares were down 2.1 percent at 157.66 euros in Frankfurt trading.

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