The wife, centre, of Volkswagen executive Oliver Schmidt walks with attorneys after his hearing in federal court in Miami, Florida, US. Picture: REUTERS
The wife, centre, of Volkswagen executive Oliver Schmidt walks with attorneys after his hearing in federal court in Miami, Florida, US. Picture: REUTERS

Miami/New York — A US judge on Thursday ordered a Volkswagen executive charged in the Justice Department’s diesel emissions investigation held without bail pending trial.

Oliver Schmidt was arrested on Saturday at Miami International Airport as he planned to fly home after a vacation.

He was one of six current and former VW executives charged this week in US District Court in Detroit. The other five are in Germany and are unlikely to be extradited.

US Magistrate Judge William Turnoff ruled Schmidt was a flight risk. His lawyers said they planned to appeal the decision.

The Justice Department also said Schmidt "faces what would be an effective life sentence" if convicted. Schmidt is charged with eleven felony counts, which could be punished by up to 169 years in prison, the government said.

Volkswagen agreed to plead guilty and pay $4.3bn in civil and criminal fines.

Reuters

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