An important development in the much-lauded scandal of global proportions “Dieselgate” and specifically in the case of the former chairman and CEO of Audi, Rupert Stadler, today changes the facts in the ongoing criminal trial in Germany against him.

The 60-year-old Stadler, who was arrested in 2018 and has already served several months in prison, admitted on Tuesday that he not only knew, but also helped cover up the fact that Audi’s parent company, Volkswagen, had installed falsified emissions-measuring software in top-of-the-range vehicle models.

In particular, Stadler also admitted that he had given the “green light” for the sale of vehicles that had the falsified software, without informing international trade partners of Audi and Volkswagen, essentially cheating suppliers, intermediaries and of course the final buyers.

The biggest scandal of the German car industry

The Dieselgate scandal came to light in 2015, when the US Environmental Protection Agency found problems with “groundbreaking” emissions recording devices in Volkswagen, Audi and Porsche vehicles in 2014 and 2015. As it was later revealed these problems were not were due to technical issues, but to deliberate, large-scale fraud by installing “hacked” pollutant counting software systems in the first place.

The scandal has since cost parent company Volkswagen astronomical settlements of billions of dollars, while forcing it to recall millions of vehicles from the global market. According to the Commission, Volkswagen had also sold 8.5 million vehicles in Europe that were equipped with the disputed devices.

Rupert Standler’s verdict is expected in June.German judges had “offered” the possibility of a suspended sentence as well as a fine of 1.1 million euros if he pleaded guilty to the charges, which he did, accepting the charges.