Crime

VW Group's EX-Engineering Chief Wants Out Of A German Prison

After 8 months in the slammer, he's really sorry for Dieselgate.

Very few of those involved with the Volkswagen Dieselgate scandal have gone to prison, but former VW Group executive Wolfgang Hatz is one of them. For the past eight months, Hatz has been incarcerated in Germany over his alleged involvement in the emissions scandal. According to , he’s now appealing to Germany’s highest court in order secure his freedom. He has not been convicted of a crime. Hatz was VW Group’s powertrain chief from 2011 until the scandal broke in 2015.

Before that he served as Audi’s head engine developer from 2001 to 2007. He also spent time at Porsche as R&D boss. Prior to joining the VW Group in 2001, Hatz worked for BMW and Opel. But it was under his watch when the defeat devices were developed and incorporated into the diesel engines, such as the 3.0-liter V6 diesel used by Audi. Audi admitted in late 2015 that this specific engine had the device. Hatz’s lawyers are trying to get him out of prison by offering to surrender his passport and a bail post worth millions of Euros. Munich-based prosecutors have declined the request, hence the appeal to the top court.

What also doesn’t bode well for Hatz is that he was a close associate and friend of former VW CEO Martin Winterkorn, who was . The US is currently trying to have him extradited from Germany. The German constitution, however, is preventing that from happening. As for Hatz, he’s still stuck in the slammer until the court says otherwise.

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