According to AFP, former VW chief and current board member Ferdinand Piech told a German judge he knew nothing of a slush fund used to pay for union bosses' foreign airfare, accommodations, food, drink and (one assumes) expensive prostitutes.Oh, and a big fat lump sum to a union boss' mistress for God knows what. Piech made his denial at the trial of former Volkswagen personnel directors Klaus Volkert and Klaus-Joachim Gebauer, charged with inciting breach of trust and breach of trust. A steely-eyed Piech categorically denied any involvement in the pay-offs: "At no time during my mandate did I have knowledge of any such abuses." This despite the defendants' testimony that Piech was fully aware of the bribes, And a letter to Volkert signed by Piech, referring to the bribes while approving a "generous pension" for the personnel director. After receiving a wrist-slap for his role in the affair, former VW human resources director Peter Hartz told the court that he told Piech about Volkert's demands to hoik-up his pension (a.k.a. hush money), but only in "an informal manner." Hartz stressed that "details were not mentioned." So I guess Volkert's pension boost (a bribe for a bribe) and $3,8m worth of illegal payments to the union capos– filed under "miscellaneous board expenses"– were just "details."
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