German prosecutors investigating VW's Mueller over scandal

The investigation is tied to the German automaker's diesel emission scandal and is the first time Müller has been officially identified as a suspect in the scandal.

Porsche SE has said the allegations are unfounded and it added that it had complied with disclosure rules.

They said investigators needed to find out whether initial indications were true that he informed shareholders too late about the company's large-scale emissions-cheating scandal, which had a tremendous negative impact on VW's share price.

The probe relates to Mueller and the others' roles as executives in 2015 at Stuttgart-based Porsche Automobil Holding SE, the holding company that controls Volkswagen.

Stuttgart prosecutors said Wednesday they're investigating whether Volkswagen CEO Matthias Mueller and two others, including Mueller's predecessor, manipulated markets by not releasing information about VW's diesel cheating soon enough.

The Porsche holding company is distinct from Porsche sports auto brand, which is now part of Volkswagen itself.

A Volkswagen spokesman refused to comment on the prosecutors' statement when contacted by AFP. The investigation was initiated on the basis of the complaint filed by the Federal Financial Supervisory Authority of Germany which is similar to the United States Securities and Exchange Commission. Mr, Winterkorn had already resigned from this position as a Chief Executive officer from Volkswagen and Herbert Diess is one of the boards of directors who were responsible for managing all the cars under Volkswagen brand.

The multinational corporation would reportedly have to pay more than 22 billion euros ($24 billion) to cover fines and compensations related to the Dieselgate scandal.

In response to outrage over the scandal, VW earlier this year announced a massive shift in focus towards electric cars over the coming years that will see it shed 30,000 jobs by 2020.

  • Zachary Reyes