The process of extraditioning ex-Volkswagen manager Oliver Schmidt, who was convicted and imprisoned for his role in the Dieselgate scandal in the United States, comes to Germany. Schmidt agreed to be transferred to his home country at a Detroit court hearing. A US judge gave his consent.
In 2017, Schmidt was sentenced to seven years in prison and a $ 400,000 fine as an alleged accomplice in VW's emissions manipulation in the United States. His lawyers have been campaigning for extradition to Germany for years, where he could serve his remaining detention. Ex-VW engineer James Liang, who was the first to be convicted of the exhaust gas scandal in the United States, had previously achieved this. He was released from prison early just a few weeks after his return to Germany at the end of 2019.
Charges against several VW managers
Schmidt was responsible for environmental issues in the USA from February 2012 to March 2015 in a senior VW function, according to the US indictment, and is said to have misled the judicial authorities in their Dieselgate investigations. The FBI caught the German on January 7, 2017, before returning home from a Florida vacation. It is still not entirely clear whether Schmidt was a mastermind or a farmer victim in the scandal, which has already caused the VW group over 30 billion euros in legal costs.
In the Dieselgate affair, the United States has indicted a number of former Volkswagen employees, including ex-CEO Martin Winterkorn. But despite international arrest warrants, most of them have no fear of immediate consequences because they are not at risk of extradition to the United States. So far, only Liang and Schmidt have been brought to trial in the United States. In June, however, another VW manager was arrested in Croatia, who could face a US court.