image: Xinhua Finance

The 17 suspects are “tied in the widest sense to the Volkswagen Corporation” and none of them is on the managing board, said Klaus Ziehe of the prosecutor’s office in Braunschweig, which is overseeing the investigation.

image: Xinhua Finance

All are being investigated for fraud and violations of laws against unfair competition, Ziehe added.

Five months ago, police and prosecutors conducted a series of raids on the offices of Volkswagen in Braunschweig, confiscating documents and data storage devices that are still being evaluated.

In September, Europe’s biggest carmaker admitted that software installed in more than 11 million of its diesel-powered vehicles allowed them to manipulate emissions tests.

Chief executive Martin Winterkorn stepped down on September 23 as a result of the revelations. Though individual complaints have been filed against him, prosecutors have not yet launched an official criminal probe.

Volkswagen revealed last week that Winterkorn had been informed about the crisis more than a year before it entered the public domain.

Source: GNA


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