Prosecutors in the German city of Stuttgart are checking out whether numerous executives at the holding company that manages Volkswagen manipulated markets by delaying the disclosure of emissions scandal in 2015.
The questions resembles one launched by prosecutors in 2016 in Braunschweig, near VW’s Wolfsburg headquarters, into present and former VW board members over if they postponed the release of information regarding the cheating of diesel emissions tests.
The Stuttgart prosecutor’s office refused to provide details about its investigation on Wednesday, but stated it was in reaction to a complaint from markets regulator BaFin about current and previous Porsche Automobil Holding SE board members Matthias Mueller, Hans Dieter Poetsch, Martin Winterkorn and Philipp von Hagen.
Porsche SE, which is headquartered in Stuttgart, manages 52.2 percent of VW’s voting shares. Poetsch and Mueller are presently also chairman and CEO of the automaker, while Winterkorn is a former CEO. Von Hagen is accountable for investment management on Porsche SE’s board.
A Porsche SE representative said the company had been in touch with Bafin, however had no understanding of the Stuttgart prosecutors’ investigation.
Volkswagen and its existing and former executives have repeatedly rejected any market control over the disclosure of its emissions test cheating.
BaFin stated it had alerted Stuttgart prosecutors in summer 2016 about the possible market manipulation in the trading of Porsche SE shares, the exact same time that Braunschweig prosecutors started their probe into VW authorities.