VW ex-manager should stay in Germany: lawyer in Bild

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[June 24, 2017]  BERLIN (Reuters) - A lawyer for one of the former Volkswagen <VOWG_p.DE> managers sought in the United States in connection with the carmaker's diesel emissions-cheating scandal has advised him not to leave Germany, she told a German daily.

"I have urgently advised my client not to leave Germany. Only here is it safe," Annette Voges, representing Heinz-Jakob Neusser told Bild Zeitung in comments published on Saturday.

On Thursday, Sueddeutsche Zeitung reported the United States had issued international arrest warrants for the ex-managers and developers. It said they are indicted for conspiracy to fraud and violation of U.S. environmental rules.

A sixth person, former VW manager Oliver Schmidt, was arrested in February in Miami as he was about to fly to Germany.

Voges said the managers would likely have to continue to forgo foreign travel because they could not rely on a statue of limitations, which would exempt them from charges after a certain amount of time.

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Member of the Board of Management of Volkswagen AG Herbert Diess speaks during the Volkswagen group night ahead of the Frankfurt Motor Show (IAA) in Frankfurt, Germany, September 14, 2015. REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach

Under the constitution, German citizens can only be extradited to other European Union countries or to an international court. But leaving Germany could pose the risk of being extradited to the United States from a third country.

VW, the world's largest automaker by sales, admitted to U.S. regulators in September 2015 that it had cheated on emissions tests there using software installed in as many as 11 million diesel vehicles sold worldwide.

(Reporting by Victoria Bryan, editing by David Evans)

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