Federal Court of Justice – acquittal for VW manager overturned – economy

The Federal Court of Justice (BGH) has lifted the acquittals for four VW HR managers in connection with the amount of works council salaries. The 6th Senate of the Federal Court of Justice ruled that a judgment by the Regional Court of Braunschweig did not meet the legal requirements. The case was referred back to another commercial criminal division of the district court for a new trial and decision. The background to the proceedings is the remuneration that several senior works council members at Volkswagen received between 2011 and 2016. The long-standing head of the VW works council, Bernd Osterloh, received up to 750,000 euros in years with particularly high bonuses. The court in Braunschweig acquitted the manager of the allegation of infidelity in 2021. There was no evidence of intent on the part of the human resources managers. The defendants erroneously assumed that their decisions on works council salaries did not violate any obligations. However, the BGH also classified the district court’s assessment of the evidence of the accused’s intent as incomplete.

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