German court rebuffs VW complaint over prosecutors' searches

A Volkswagen logo is pictured at the newly opened Volkswagen factory in Wrzesnia, Poland, September 9, 2016. REUTERS/Kacper Pempel/File Photo

MUNICH (Reuters) - A German court has rebuffed Volkswagen's VOWG_p.DE attempt to prevent prosecutors from using information seized during searches of the law firm which the carmaker had hired to investigate its emissions scandal.

Volkswagen (VW) said last week it had filed a complaint with a Munich court to prevent prosecutors from retaining and assessing material confiscated during a March 15 raid on U.S. law firm Jones Day.

VW, whose supervisory board had commissioned Jones Day in late 2015 to investigate the diesel emissions test-cheating scandal, has said it would use every legal step to counter the actions by Munich prosecutors.

But a Munich local court has now decided that the raids by prosecutors on Jones Day as well as on VW and Audi, both of which were also searched separately on March 15, were legitimate, a court spokeswoman said on Monday.

Munich prosecutors said the decision by the local court to reject VW’s complaint would also be checked by a Munich district court.

“There is no change in our position,” a spokesman at Wolfsburg-based VW said on Monday. “We adhere to our legal opinion.”

Jones Day had no immediate comment.

Reporting by Joern Poltz; additional reporting by Andreas Cremer; editing by Jason Neely