Exhaust in front of a VW used car dealer: the process is slow
Photo: Julian Stratenschulte/ dpa
In the fraud process surrounding the Volkswagen emissions scandal, several defense attorneys have criticized the lack of disclosure of information by the public prosecutor's office.
Sometimes information is given late, sometimes questions are answered in the negative and shortly afterwards in the affirmative, said a lawyer in the trial at the Braunschweig regional court: "We can't conduct a trial like that."
For almost a year, the proceedings against four former executives of the car manufacturer have been progressing rather slowly.
The accused are accused, among other things, of commercial and gang fraud with deceptive programs in the exhaust gas control of millions of diesel cars.
The manipulations known as "Dieselgate" were exposed in autumn 2015.
All of the defendants in the trial have denied primary responsibility for the scandal.
In response to criticism of the way the prosecutor's office worked, presiding judge Christian Schütz renewed his call for essential information to be shared with all those involved in the trial.
Similar allegations had been made earlier in the course of the proceedings.
The public prosecutor's office initially did not respond with a statement.
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In terms of content, the trial was continued with the testimony of a public prosecutor who reported on a witness hearing in 2016.
As an interrogator, the 58-year-old spoke to a VW lawyer responsible for product safety that year.
She admitted that six years after this interrogation, the memories are not fresh.
On the basis of protocols, however, she reproduced some of the content of the conversation about which the 2016 interviewee also spoke with the former VW boss Martin Winterkorn.
Many descriptions are currently only available second-hand.
Since the majority of the witnesses who are regarded as authoritative recently made use of their right to refuse to testify, individual prosecutors should report from their own important witness interviews.
Since these are now several years ago, memory gaps are currently omnipresent in the process.
The process is set to continue on Wednesday.
Overall, dates are scheduled until January 2024.