The Volkswagen Group has officially terminated the services of former Audi CEO Rupert Stadler due to his ongoing pre-trial detention, with immediate effect. This has been done because Stadler is unable to fulfil his duties as a board member and wishes to focus on his trial defence, the company said.

Coming to a decision about Stadler’s future with the company was proving difficult, senior Volkswagen executive and supervisory board member of Audi, Hiltruyd Werner, said to the Financial Times. “Do you do something for the optics or do you do something for justice or for the truth? That’s the tricky bit. To what do you give preference — the good headline and the optics, or fairness and justice?,” Werner said.

The former chief executive of Audi was taken into custody in June by investigators over fears that he might seek to suppress evidence in relation to ongoing investigations into the group’s diesel emissions cheating scandal. The eventual contractual execution will depend on on the course and outcome of Stadler’s criminal case proceedings, Volkswagen said.

Stadler has since been succeeded by Abraham Schot as interim CEO at Audi. Schot has been member of the board of management at Audi in charge of sales and marketing since September 2017, prior to his appointment as interim CEO.

The man in the hot seat, Stadler, commenced work for Audi in 1990, joining the board of management in 2003 and became chairman on January 1, 2007. Stadler subsequently was appointed to the board of management at Volkswagen Group in 2010.