While Germany’s Volkswagen (VW) has been hard at work to develop solutions to their emissions cheating diesel vehicles, the $4.3 billion settlement agreed upon with the U.S. Justice Department does not exactly clear any criminal actions committed by higher level executives. That reality was seen after Oliver Schmidt, a VW executive linked to the scandal, was arrested while vacationing in Miami over the weekend. With U.S. prosecutors preparing to go after more, VW executives that could have any tie to the case are being warned to stay put in Germany to avoid a Schmidt-like detention.
It is expected that the U.S. prosecutors on the case will continue filing charges against key VW executives, but because the German constitution does not allow the extradition of German nationals to foreign countries outside of the European Union, these executives can avoid going up against the American legal system for now. However, there are sure to be similar charges for some key members at home.
Schmidt’s lawyer argued in front of a federal court on Monday that his client had informed the U.S. government of his Florida trip, but despite being willing to work with investigators, the judge ruled that Schmidt was a flight risk and must remain in custody.