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Last Updated: Friday, 22 February 2008, 10:50 GMT
Prison term in VW corruption case
Klaus Volkert
During the trial, Volkert denied doing anything wrong
Klaus Volkert, the former head of Volkswagen's employee council, has been sent to jail for two years nine months for his role in a corruption scandal.

He was found guilty of incitement to breach of trust in the case, which involved employee representatives getting illegal privileges.

Perks included being sent on free trips abroad with visits to prostitutes.

The other defendant, former personnel manager Klaus-Joachim Gebauer, was given a one-year suspended sentence.

Volkert admitted to helping arrange a lucrative contract for his former girlfriend, but denied that he had done anything wrong.

Strong role

The trial was part of an investigation into whether managers at VW bribed employee representatives between 1995 and 2005.

Works councils are made up of workers and management and have a strong decision-making role within major German companies.

The trial featured testimony from several VW executives, including chairman Ferdinand Piech, who denied any knowledge of the payments.

Last year, VW's former head of personnel, Peter Hartz, was given a two-year suspended prison sentence and fined 576,000 euros (413,349; $855,478) for sanctioning illegal payments to members of the works council.

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