Verdict expected in Audi diesel scandal. The former CEO may receive a suspended sentence.
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Munich, Germany – The Munich II Regional Court is set to deliver its verdict on Tuesday in the Audi diesel scandal.
Among the defendants is former CEO Rupert Stadler, and it is widely anticipated that he will receive a suspended sentence with monetary conditions.
Confession of Failure to Halt Sale of Illegally Modified Vehicles
Stadler, commonly referred to as Mister Audi, has admitted that he took no action to prevent the sale of illegally modified vehicles once he became aware of the scandal in 2016.
The court spokesperson expressed admiration for Stadler’s statement, noting its exceptional nature:
“The admission is remarkable in several respects. Firstly, a board member admitted to the fraud through omission. No one in this position has done so before.”Laurent Lafleur, Court Spokesman
It is important to note that Stadler’s confession was not entirely voluntary and came quite late in the legal proceedings.
After over 160 days of hearings, the court proposed a settlement to the three remaining defendants: full confessions leading to suspended sentences and monetary obligations.
Stadler ultimately accepted the proposal, and his defense counsel read out his confession, which included numerous conditional phrases such as “possibly” and “I accepted it with approval.”
“The formulations were, in fact, not made for journalists, but for lawyers. To describe the so-called premeditated offense, it is sufficient that a perpetrator considers it possible that a certain consequence will occur, and he accepts it. He does not intend to, nor does he have to have certain knowledge. That was what the defendant wanted to formulate with indeed numerous formulations, such as ‘possibly’ and ‘approvingly.'”Laurent Lafleur, Court Spokesman
Suspended Sentence Likely for Former Engine Developer
The other two co-defendants had previously admitted their guilt.
One of them, a former engine developer, acknowledged that during the development process, he knew the so-called defeat devices could not comply with the law.
As a result of his confession, he can also anticipate a suspended sentence.
Nevertheless, his lawyers expressed dissatisfaction, criticizing the Munich public prosecutor during their closing arguments.
“I accuse the public prosecutor’s office of allowing the US law firm Jones Day, which VW and Audi commissioned to carry out internal investigations at the time, to lull the prosecution downright.”Klaus Schroth, Defense Attorney
This situation compromised the integrity of the investigation.
Schroth further claimed that the public prosecutor’s office initially regarded their client as the main perpetrator, but that perspective had changed by the end of the process.
Prosecution Seeks Prison Sentence for Former Head of Engine Development
The prosecution considers the former head of Audi engine development, Wolfgang Hatz, to bear greater guilt.
Hatz also confessed, expressing regret for not acting responsibly.
However, the public prosecutor’s office rejected any agreement and is pursuing a prison sentence of three years and two months.
This request is based on factors such as the defendant’s previous managerial position, the gravity of the offense, and the delayed confession.
It remains to be seen how the court will decide on this matter.
The verdict will be announced on Tuesday, marking a significant milestone in the Audi diesel scandal.
When will the verdict in the Audi diesel scandal be announced?
The verdict is expected to be announced on Tuesday.
Who is the main defendant in the case?
Former CEO Rupert Stadler is one of the main defendants in the Audi diesel scandal case.
What is the anticipated outcome for Rupert Stadler?
Observers expect Rupert Stadler to receive a suspended sentence with monetary conditions.
What did Rupert Stadler admit to in his confession?
Stadler confessed to not taking action to halt the sale of illegally modified vehicles once he learned of the scandal.
What makes this case unique?
Rupert Stadler is the first former CEO of a car manufacturer to face court proceedings about the diesel scandal.
How did the court respond to Stadler’s confession?
The court spokesperson described Stadler’s admission as remarkable, as it was the first time a board member in such a position had confessed to fraud through omission.
What was the settlement proposal made to the defendants?
The court proposed that the defendants fully confess, resulting in suspended sentences and monetary obligations.
What criticism was raised by the defense lawyers?
Defense lawyers criticized the Munich public prosecutor for allegedly allowing an external law firm to manipulate the investigation.
What sentence is the prosecution seeking for Wolfgang Hatz?
The prosecution is seeking a prison sentence of three years and two months for Wolfgang Hatz, the former head of Audi engine development.
What factors influenced the prosecution’s request for a prison sentence?
The prosecution considered factors such as Hatz’s previous managerial position, the seriousness of the offense, and the delayed confession.