* Porsche premises searched as part of diesel probe - Spiegel
* Porsche says prosecutors probing individuals, not company
* Porsche’s role selling heavily polluting cars triggered probe (Adds Porsche comment)
FRANKFURT, Feb 28 (Reuters) - German prosecutors searched sports carmaker Porsche’s offices on Wednesday as part of an ongoing probe into a diesel emissions scandal, German weekly Der Spiegel reported on Friday.
Three offices and three private apartments belonging to Porsche employees were searched as part of an investigation into their role in an emissions cheating scandal, Spiegel said.
Prosecutors have widened their probe and are now investigating seven current and former Porsche employees, up from four employees, Der Spiegel said.
Prosecutors imposed a 535 million euro ($598 million) fine against Porsche in May, as punishment for lapses in supervisory duties which allowed the company to cheat diesel emissions tests.
At the time, prosecutors in the southern city of Stuttgart said that the company’s development department had neglected its legal obligations, which ultimately led to the sale of diesel cars that spewed excessive pollution levels.
“With the imposition of the penalty payment in May 2019 the proceedings against Porsche AG were ended,” a spokesman for the carmaker said.
“With the further investigations against individuals, Porsche AG is fully cooperating with the authorities.”
The Stuttgart prosecutor’s office was not immediately available for comment.
Reporting by Edward Taylor, editing by Riham Alkousaa and Louise Heavens
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