Audi CEO Stadler arrested on risk he may suppress evidence

The Munich public prosecutor’s office said it searched the apartment of Stadler last week.

FRANKFURT — Munich prosecutors said that Audi CEO Rupert Stadler was arrested on Monday because investigators saw the risk that he might seek to suppress evidence in connection with a diesel emissions probe.

“The suspect has been seen by a judge, who has ordered him to be remanded in custody,” the prosecutors’ office said in a statement.

The prosecutors’ office last week widened its emissions-cheating probe against Audi to include Stadler among the suspects accused of fraud and false advertising.

A spokesman for Audi parent company Volkswagen Group confirmed Stadler’s arrested this morning, adding that the presumption of innocence applied to Stadler’s case.

Audi had no immediate comment. Munich prosecutors and Stadler himself were not immediately available for comment.

The Munich public prosecutor’s office said last week it was investigating 20 suspects, and that it had searched the apartment of Stadler and one other current board member.

The second suspect is Bernd Martens, Audi’s head of purchasing, according to a person familiar with the investigation who declined to be identified because prosecutors hadn’t disclosed the name, Reuters reported. Martens led a diesel task force at Audi, which was set up to coordinate the handling of the crisis with the parent company.

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