Audi CEO Rupert Stadler has been detained by German authorities in connection with the probe into manipulation of diesel emissions controls in cars sold in Europe, news agency dpa reported on Monday.
“Audi CEO Rupert Stadler was provisionally arrested this morning,” Audi said in a statement. A court hearing to determine whether Stadler would remain in jail was ongoing, the company said, adding that it wouldn’t comment further due to the ongoing investigation.
“The presumption of innocence remains in place for Mr. Stadler,” Audi said.
Prosecutors pushed for Stadler’s arrest over fears that he might try to evade justice, dpa reported. Last week, prosecutors raided Stadler’s residence in Munich as part of the investigation. At least 20 suspects are under investigation for their role in the diesel emissions case.
Cars sold in Europe by Volkswagen group were believed to be equipped with a software that automatically turned off emissions controls during driving, flouting several pollution control laws.
The car manufacturer pleaded guilty to criminal charges in the United States and nine managers, including former CEO Martin Winterkorn, were charged. Two managers are serving prison terms; Winterkorn and the others remained in Germany and are unlikely to be extradited.
with AP inputs