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Ex-boss of VW being investigated for market fixing

Volkswagen's former boss Martin Winterkorn is under investigation for having allegedly manipulated the market by holding back information about emissions cheating at the automobile giant, prosecutors said Monday.

Ex-boss of VW being investigated for market fixing
Martin Winterkorn. Photo: DPA

“The initial suspicion of market manipulation is directed against two former board members of the VW Group. Among them is the former chief executive of the Volkswagen group, Professor Dr Martin Winterkorn,” said prosecutors in Lower Saxony where VW is based in a statement.

Investigators did not name the second suspect but said the individual was not the group's current chairman.

Listed companies are required to disclose information that could affect market prices immediately.

But VW complied with its disclosure obligation only on September 22, 2015, prosecutors said, four days after US regulators went public that they were charging the company for fitting devices designed to skew emissions data in their vehicles.

“There are sufficient indications suggesting that the obligation to make a disclosure statement could have been met at an earlier date,” prosecutors said.

Shares in VW plunged 17.14 percent on Monday September 21, the first trading day after the US charge was made public.

They sank another 19.82 percent on Tuesday, wiping out €25 billion euros in market capitalisation in two days.

Winterkorn stepped down as CEO of the car giant on September 23rd while denying any knowledge of the so-called defeat devices installed in the cars.

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GREENPEACE

Two hospitalized in Munich after activist crashes parachute into Euro 2020 stadium

At least two people were hospitalised Tuesday after a Greenpeace activist crash-landed on the pitch before the Germany-France match at Euro 2020 when his powered parachute microlight struck spidercam cables at Munich's Allianz Arena.

Two hospitalized in Munich after activist crashes parachute into Euro 2020 stadium
The activist lands on the turf of the Allianz Arena. credit: dpa | Christian Charisius

The pilot flew over the pitch just before kick-off in the Group F clash with “Kick out oil” written on the canopy of his parachute.

However, when the pilot hit television cables above the pitch, it knocked his microlight off balance and he landed on the turf after clipping one of the stands, where the casualties happened.

The activist was arrested soon after landing.

A Munich police spokesman told AFP that at least two people suffered head injuries and “both had to be taken to hospital, we don’t know yet how serious the injuries are”.

The police spokesman said the activist appears to have escaped injury, but “we are considering various criminal charges. Munich police has zero understanding for political actions that put lives at risk”.

UEFA also slammed the botched stunt.

“This inconsiderate act – which could have had very serious consequences for a huge number of people attending – caused injuries to several people attending the game who are now in hospital and law authorities will take the necessary action,” European football’s governing body said in a statement.

The parachutist above the stadium. Photo: dpa | Matthias Balk

“The staging of the match was fortunately not impacted by such a reckless and dangerous action, but several people were injured nonetheless.”

The stunt was a protest against German car manufacturer Volkswagen, one of the sponsors of the European Championship, Greenpeace explained in a Twitter post.

“UEFA and its partners are fully committed to a sustainable Euro 2020 tournament and many initiatives have been implemented to offset carbon emissions,” said UEFA.

Greenpeace said they regretted any harm caused.

“This protest was never intended to disrupt the game or hurt people,” read a Twitter post on Greenpeace’s official German account.

“We hope that everyone is OK and that no one was seriously injured. Greenpeace actions are always peaceful and non-violent.”

“Unfortunately, not everything went according to plan.”

READ MORE: Climate activists rage as Germany opts for drawn-out coal exit

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