About four months ago, as the Dieselgate scandal entered its final phases in the U.S., the Justice Department charged six managers with conspiracy and violation of environmental rules. Five of the six managers were in Germany at that time and were beyond the reach of U.S. law enforcement.
One executive chose the wrong place to vacation
It was unfortunate that the sixth executive, Oliver Schmidt, chose a winter vacation seeing the sights in Florida. As Schmidt was waiting for a jetliner to whisk him back to Germany and safety, the authorities closed in at Miami International and arrested him on the charges. He is still sitting in jail awaiting trial. Dieselgate scandal's executive ties
Now, the U.S. has issued five international arrest warrants for five ex-VW managers, accused in connection with the Dieselgate diesel-cheating scandal. The report appeared in the German newspaper Sueddeutsche Zeitung Thursday. A Volkswagen spokesman declined to comment.
Those charged include Heinz-Jakob Neusser, former brand development chief; Jens Hadler, head of engine development; Richard Dorenkamp, another engine development supervisor; Bernd Gottweis, quality management, and Jurgen Peter, government-VW liaison.
Former execs safe as long as they stay in Germany
According to the Sueddeutsche Zeitung report, German officials have no plans to extradite the accused to the U.S. Under the country’s constitution; German citizens can only face extradition to other European Union countries or an international court. If any of those charged were to leave Germany, on the other hand, the could expose themselves to extradition to the U.S. through a third country.
The international arrest warrants arise from the automaker’s September 2015 admission that it had installed diesel-cheating devices in some 11 million turbodiesel vehicles sold worldwide.
Sources: Automotive News, Sueddeutsche Zeitung, The New York Times