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The lies of Martin Winterkorn

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It was only a matter of time. Volkswagen Group officials can keep saying how things are looking up, while hyping the company's bright electric future, but the past will haunt them for quite a while. After the scandal about VW's large-scale emissions-cheating tests broke in 2015, prosecutors in Braunschweig, Germany, needed a lot of time to study the overwhelming amount of documents related to Dieselgate.

And now they've finally brought charges against Winterkorn, who headed the company when the scam became known publicly. They also indicted four other persons, presumably from Winterkorn's inner circle, but didn't disclose their names right away.

The charges brought against Winterkorn are not to be taken lightly. Prosecutors are talking of severe fraud and a violation of national competition laws, and they're talking of embezzlement, tax evasion and false certification. There's a lot to do for Winterkorn's lawyers who will have to fight on several fronts at the same time. The US had already issued an arrest warrant against him, and the SEC financial watchdog charged Winterkorn a month ago for what it believes boiled down to cheating investors.

VW image suffering

For VW, it's now also getting too close for comfort in Germany. Although the carmaker is most likely not in for the same magnitude of fines as imposed by the US ($30 billion, €26.5........

© Deutsche Welle