VOLKSWAGEN is reviewing whether to seek damages from former Chief Executive Martin Winterkorn, who was at the helm when it emerged -

*The carmaker had cheated on emission tests, supervisory board member Stephen Weil, told a newspaper*.

''Damages against a former management board members are under serious consideration. I'm not just saying that, he told  Sueddeutsche Zeitung in an interview when asked whether Volkswagen  [VW]  would seek damages from Winterkorn.

''Once we know the outcome of investigations, we will make a decision,'' said Weill, who represents the  German state of Lower Saxiny, a  VW shareholder, on the company's board.

VW has for years said  only  lower-level  managers knew of the  emission cheating, but US-authorities filed criminal charges against  Winterkorn earlier this year. This month, Munich prosecutors widened that  their probe into VW's  premium brand Audi.

They said they were investigating  Audi Chief Executive Rupert Stadler for suspected fraud and false advertising and for his alleged role helping to bring cars equipped with illegal software on to the European market.

This week they arrested Stadler, citing concerns he might try to interfere  with the investigation. The arrested prompted the  supervisory board to suspend him and name Bram Schot to take over as interim Audi CEO.

Asked by  Sueddeutsche  why  Stadler  was suspended rather than removed entirely, Weil said many questions remained unanswered.

''It is matter of fairness to wait until the matter is cleared up. Any normal employer would do that,''  he said, adding he could not predict whether  Stadler  would  return to his post. Stadler remain in custody but has not been charged with a crime.

VW and Audi have said that  Stadler  should be presumed innocent  unless proven otherwise. [Agencies].


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