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Prosecutors summon ex-VW Korea chief

[THE INVESTOR] Prosecutors summoned former head of Volkswagen Korea Park Dong-hoon on July 5, to question him over the German automaker’s emission scandal that hit the customers here and around the world.

Park, who headed the company from its initiation in 2005 to 2013 before moving to Renault Samsung as the chief executive, appeared before the Seoul Central District Prosecutors’ Office as a key witness in the ongoing case over VW cheating emission tests for defective units. The prosecutors, however, said his status could change from a witness to suspect, if necessary, following an investigation. 

Former head of Volkswagen Korea Park Dong-hoon
Former head of Volkswagen Korea Park Dong-hoon

“I was not (involved),” Park told reporters before entering the prosecutors’ office.

He also denied the claim that the German headquarters ordered the manipulation.

“I don’t have much to say at the moment. I will fully cooperate with the investigation,” he said and entered the office.

The 63-year-old is the first head of the Korean office to be summoned by the prosecutors.

Earlier, the prosecutors found out that VW manipulated documents from August 2010 to February 2015 to secure approval from Korea’s state-run agency to be eligible to import. Also, the carmaker changed the software of VW’s gasoline model Golf 1.4 TSI to meet the emission and noise level standards.

Last week, prosecutors arrested an executive, identified by his surname Yoon, 52, and put him under custody on charges of submitting manipulated documents to Korean authorities.

Prosecutors said they will continue to investigate Park and decide whether they would further summon current key executives, including president Johannes Thammer, to see if they were involved in the case.

By Ahn Sung-mi (sahn@heraldcorp.com)

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