Audi CEO Appeals to Court for Release From Jail in Diesel Probe

(Bloomberg) -- Audi Chief Executive Officer Rupert Stadler appealed to a Munich court to release him after spending a month in jail over allegations that he tried to tamper with evidence in the Volkswagen AG diesel scandal.

Stadler, 55, filed a complaint challenging his detention Wednesday, prosecutor Andrea Mayer said in a phone interview Thursday. He was arrested June 18 after his phone was tapped by police, creating concerns he was trying to influence witnesses.

Stadler has rejected the prosecutor’s claim of danger of collusion in the diesel-emissions scandal and declined to make a confession when he testified, Sueddeutsche Zeitung reported earlier Thursday, citing unidentified people familiar with the procedures. The German newspaper described the questioning as very tough.

The arrest marked the highest-profile detention since Volkswagen cheating scandal erupted when the carmaker admitted that it had rigged 11 million vehicles worldwide to bypass emissions tests. Volkswagen has rejected claims that top executives including Stadler were aware of the criminal scheme that stretched nearly a decade.

Mayer said that the interrogation of Stadler has been completed and it’s up to the court to decide whether to release him.

After Stadler was arrested, VW named Bram Schot as the interim chief of the Audi unit. Stadler’s attorney, Thilo Pfordte, and Audi didn’t immediately reply to requests to comment.

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