German court blocks prosecutors from using VW law firm seizures

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Reuters
July 27, 2017 07:58 CET

BERLIN — Germany’s highest court blocked prosecutors from using materials seized during a raid on the U.S. law firm hired by Volkswagen Group to investigate its emissions scandal.

VW filed a complaint after prosecutors searched the Munich-based offices of Jones Day and the headquarters of VW’s Audi brand on March 15 to prevent prosecutors from using the materials.

It welcomed the decision by Germany’s Federal Constitutional Court on Wednesday.

“We welcome the decision and the issuance of a preliminary order by the Federal Constitutional Court,” a spokesman at VW’s Wolfsburg headquarters said by email.

Jones Day found wrongdoing by certain high-level VW employees but exonerated members of the management board. Volkswagen used the findings to negotiate a $ 4.3 billion settlement with U.S. authorities.

VW has never published the findings of the Jones Day investigation, although a summary was compiled in the form of a “Statement of facts” for the U.S. Department of Justice.

The carmaker has maintained that its executive board did not learn of the illegal emissions cheating devices installed in VW cars until late August 2015 and formally reported the cheating to U.S. authorities in early September that year.

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