Volkswagen's former chief executive Martin Winterkorn is under investigation

Jessica Morris
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(FILE) Volkswagen CEO Martin Wintekorn
Martin Winterkorn and another senior executive are being investigated (Source: Getty)

German prosecutors said today that they've launched a probe into the former chief executive of Volkswagen over possible market manipulation in relation to the carmaker's emissions scandal.

The investigation into Martin Winterkorn and another senior executive centres on "sufficient real signs" waited too long to disclose the potential financial damage of its wrong doings, prosecutors in the city of Braunschweig said.

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They added that current VW Chairman Hans Dieter Poetsch, its finance chief at the time, is not being probed.

Reuters reported that German prosecutors said: "Whether the stated initial suspicion will grow stronger or weaker depends on the findings of the necessary further investigations."

Winterkorn resigned a few days after it emerged that the group had rigged around 11m diesel cars to evade emissions testing late last year, saying that he accepted "responsibility for the irregularities".

Read more: Volkswagen emissions scandal: 800,000 vehicles to be recalled

The news comes a day before Volkswagen is due to face-off with investors at a shareholders meeting in Germany.

VW is yet to respond to a request for comment.