Volkswagen manager in U.S. custody wants to plead guilty over "dieselgate"

Source: Xinhua| 2017-08-04 19:39:55|Editor: Song Lifang
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BERLIN, Aug. 4 (Xinhua) -- Oliver Schmidt, the Volkswagen manager who was arrested in the United States earlier this year, wants to plead guilty over his role in the "dieselgate" scandal, the newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung reported Friday.

Schmidt's lawyers had informed the responsible court in Detroit accordingly. The plea will be heard later Friday local time.

The FBI had arrested the German citizen, who held a leading position when it came to Volkswagen's U.S. environmental policy between 2012 and 2015, while on vacation in Miami.

U.S. authorities accused Schmidt of being a part of a conspiracy to commit fraud and breach environmental regulations.

The defendant rejected these accusations until recently. He may now succeed in reducing the severity of his sentence by pleading guilty. Schmidt faces eleven separate charges, according to the report.

Schmidt is the only Volkswagen representative in U.S. custody, aside from an engineer who has already agreed a deal with officials to act as a principal witness.

U.S. authorities are confronted with the issue that most of their leading suspects are in Germany where they currently do not face the risk of extradition. Criminal charges have been released against eight individuals in total.

Volkswagen AG was the first German carmaker which was revealed to have installed illegal software which falsified emissions test results for its diesel vehicles in 2015.

A U.S. federal judge ruled in a civil lawsuit in April 2017 that Volkswagen "must pay a... 2.8 billion-dollar criminal fine for rigging diesel-powered vehicles to cheat on government emissions tests."