München – In the diesel fraud trial against former Audi boss Rupert Stadler, the Munich Regional Court has temporarily suspended the proceedings against one of the three co-defendants.
The former engine developer Henning L., who had made an extensive confession and appeared as a key witness in the process, only has to pay 25,000 euros as a monetary condition to environmental and nature conservation associations. The prosecutor agreed to the appointment.
►According to the previous result of the two-and-a-half-year hearing of evidence, L., together with two co-accused superiors, had initiated the design of the fraud software with which engines only complied with the nitrogen oxide limit values on the test bench, but throttled the exhaust gas cleaning on the road.
Henning L’s direct superior Giovanni P. made a full confession. He admits that “when he was doing something about defeat devices, he realized that they could not be in accordance with the law,” he had his defense attorney present. The lawyer emphasized that this was a complete confession.
The court had promised P., Stadler and the co-accused former head of Audi engine development Wolfgang Hatz a suspended sentence if they made full confessions. Stadler and Hatz should comment on this by April 25, said the presiding judge Stefan Weickert. Hatz and Stadler have so far denied any guilt.
According to the court, Stadler should have recognized by July 2016 at the latest that fraudulent software could have been used in the cars sold in Europe. But he didn’t follow up and let the sale continue until 2018. Stadler is therefore liable to prosecution for fraud through omission.
The three engine developers Hatz, P. and L. are said to have manipulated diesel engines for cars from Audi, VW and Porsche from 2008 onwards in such a way that they passed emissions tests but emitted more nitrogen oxide on the road than permitted.