Senior VW managers warned not to travel to U.S.: sources

Fri Jan 13, 2017 6:21am EST
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By Jörn Poltz and Andreas Cremer

MUNICH/BERLIN (Reuters) - Senior Volkswagen (VOWG_p.DE: Quote) managers have been warned not to travel to the United States, legal and company sources told Reuters, after six current and former managers were indicted for their role in the German carmaker's diesel test-cheating scheme.

One of the six charged, Oliver Schmidt, was arrested at Miami International Airport on Saturday as he was about to fly home from holiday in Cuba.

Schmidt, who is caught up in the "Dieselgate" investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice (DoJ), was ordered to be charged and held without bail on Thursday pending trial.

Under the constitution, German citizens can be extradited only to other European Union countries or to an international court. But leaving Germany at all could pose a risk of being extradited to the United States from a third country.

"Several Volkswagen managers have been advised not to travel to the United States," one legal adviser to Volkswagen said on condition of anonymity because the matter is confidential.

A second legal adviser said this also applied to managers who had not yet been charged with any offense in the United States. "One doesn't need to test the limits," the adviser said.

Schmidt was among those who had been warned by lawyers working for the company not to travel to the United States, one of the legal sources said.

Volkswagen declined to comment.   Continued...

An American flag flies next to a Volkswagen car dealership in San Diego, California, U.S. September 23, 2015. REUTERS/Mike Blake/File Photo