Driving force: Former Porsche bosses face German court

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GERMAN prosecutors have charged two former Porsche executives with market manipulation in connection with the sports car company’s failed takeover of Volkswagen.

Prosecutors in Porsche’s home city of Stuttgart accuse former chief executive Wendelin Wiedeking, pictured, and ex-chief financial officer Holger Haerter of making misleading statements about the firm’s intentions in 2008.

Porsche made at least five public statements denying they intended to increase their stake in Volkswagen to 75 per cent, despite having decided to do so at least six months earlier, prosecutors said in a statement.

The denials caused VW’s share price to drop at a time when Porsche was secretly preparing to buy shares in Europe’s largest car maker, the prosecutors said.

Lawyers for Wiedeking and Haerter denied the charges against their clients and said an independent expert had dismissed the claim that VW shares suffered.

Porsche’s bid for VW failed, and VW eventually turned the tables to take over Porsche instead.