Prosecutors Charge German MP In Volkswagen Corruption Scandal

Jan. 4, 2007
Charged with perjury, and aiding and abetting breach of trust.

A German member of parliament, Hans-Juergen Uhl, has been charged on several counts in the long-running corruption scandal at Volkswagen, public prosecutors said on Jan. 4. In the so-called VW affair, which centers on allegations that labor representatives and works council members received extravagant bonuses and illegal perks in return for their approval for restructuring measures, Uhl has been charged on seven different accounts, including breach of trust and perjury, prosecutors said in a statement.

Uhl, MP for Helmstedt and Wolfsburg, where VW is headquartered, was charged on two counts with "aiding and abetting breach of trust" by taking part on trips to Barcelona and Seoul during which participants allegedly enjoyed visits from prostitutes, the statement said. According to the prosecutors, Uhl was suspected of having known that the carmaker would be left to foot the costs for the trips, with former VW personnel manager Klaus-Joachim Gebauer allegedly booking the costs as "company expenses."

Uhl was also to be charged on five counts of perjury, with prosecutors alleging that the MP made false statements with respect to the various charges in separate civil proceedings at a court in Hamburg.

The vast bribery scandal dates back to 2005 and led to the departure of several powerful figures at VW and severely dented the company's image. VW's former head of human resources, Peter Hartz, has already been charged on 44 counts of "breach of trust" and the former head of Volkswagen's works council, Klaus Volkert, has been arrested.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2007

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