Former chief executive of German automaker Volkswagen Martin Winterkorn has been charged over the diesel emissions scandal that erupted in 2015. He was indicted in Detroit by American prosecutors.
Seventy-year-old Winterkorn, who resigned soon after the vehicle polluting scandal broke in September 2015, has been accused of misleading the regulators about Volkswagen's efforts to cheat the emission tests of its diesel-run vehicles.
The charges were filed in March and got revealed on Thursday, May 3, a BBC report said, adding that Winterkorn was also thereby included in the list of the accused former executives of the automobile giant.
Volkswagen said it was cooperating with the investigators but declined to say anything more, the report added.
US Attorney General Jeff Sessions said Winterkorn's indictment made it evident that the automaker's efforts to evade the law went "all the way to the top", the BBC reported.
Winterkorn became the ninth person to face US criminal charges in connection with the scandal. Two of them have already pleaded guilty and are behind the bars.
In September 2017, Reuters reported that Volkswagen took an additional $3 billion charge to fix diesel engines in the US which meant its total bill for the emissions scandal went to around $30 billion.
Winterkorn, during his stint at the top of the carmaker, has always defended himself over the scandal saying he informed the concerned authorities about the cheating as soon as he learned about it.
But authorities in the US charged Winterkorn with making "false representations to regulators and public" about the emission levels of vehicles coming out of Volkswagen stable, the BBC report said, adding that it was an unprecedented filing against a business leader abroad.
However, even if Winterkorn is convicted, it is unlikely that Winterkorn would face the court and law in the US since Germany doesn't extradite its citizens, the BBC report added.