Audi CEO detained in diesel emissions case

Audi has also been embroiled in the emissions scandal that has plagued VW.

Munich prosecutors said Rupert Stadler was being detained due to fears he might hinder an ongoing investigation into the scandal, plunging Volkswagen (VW) into a leadership crisis.

The move is an extension of the emissions scandal that has rocked Volkswagen since 2015 and led to billions in fines, the arrest of executives and the indictment in the US of its former CEO.

"His arrest is another low point in VW's diesel saga", said Evercore ISI analysts, who have criticized the company for being slow to reform.

Stadler was accused of fraud and false advertising by German prosecuters last week.

"For Mr Stadler, the presumption of innocence continues to apply", a spokesman said in a statement.

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The arrest of the Audi CEO comes just weeks after Volkswagen tapped a new CEO to move the company past the scandal.

German prosecutors had earlier confirmed that an arrest warrant issued to his name is based on "concealment of evidence" after conducting a raid at his house last week.

Volkswagen has pleaded guilty to criminal charges in the United States.

The Munich prosecutor's office is reportedly working towards the investigation of 19 other suspects, identities of whom haven't been disclosed, yet. The executive was arrested at his home in Ingolstadt in the early hours on Monday, they said.

Prosecutors in Munich, Stuttgart and Braunschweig are continuing their investigations of the vehicle maker and its units.

Stadler's arrest will raise tensions on VW's supervisory board, putting at risk a fragile truce between management, labour representatives and board members from the carmaker's home region of Lower Saxony. It is thought that 11 million VW Group cars have been fitted with emissions manipulation devices. Two managers are serving prison terms in the US. The company has earmarked more than €27 billion in fines, buybacks and costs.

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