In a ruling that is part of a wider corruption scandal that emerged in June 2005, the Braunschweig district court found former VW workers council chairman Klaus Volkert, 65, guilty of incitement to breach of trust. He was paid almost €2 million in special bonuses by former VW human resources director Peter Hartz, who received a two-year prison sentence and hefty fines in January 2007 for his role in the scandal.
Volkert's former colleague, personnel manager Klaus-Joachim Gebauer, 63, also received a one-year suspended sentence on Friday for planning sex parties, vacations and gifts after Hartz encouraged him to handle the funds "generously."
"The court's decision won't be the last word," said Volkert's lawyer, Johann Schwenn, after the ruling. Schwenn compared his client's trial with that of Peter Hartz, calling it a "glaring case of double standards in the justice system." Both he and Gebauer's lawyer plan to appeal.