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German court halts criminal proceedings against former VW CEO

FILE PHOTO: Former Volkswagen chief executive Martin Winterkorn leaves after testifying to a German parliamentary committee on the carmaker's emissions scandal in Berlin, Germany, January 19, 2017. REUTERS/Hannibal Hanschke

BERLIN (Reuters) - A German court in Braunschweig, Germany, said on Friday it had halted criminal proceedings against former Volkswagen CEO Martin Winterkorn for alleged market manipulation as part of the carmaker’s emissions scandal.

The court said it had decided to discontinue the proceedings as the expected sentence in another case, in which Winterkorn faces charges for his role in allowing diesel cars with excessive pollution levels to hit the road, was higher.

“In this context, the conviction for market manipulation would not lead to a significant increase in the overall sentence,” the court said in a statement.

The court opened proceedings in September examining whether Winterkorn was guilty of failing to inform investors adequately about the extent of the emissions fraud.

Reporting by Caroline Copley; Editing by Maria Sheahan

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