Former VW works council chief Klaus Volkert has been arrested over the bribery scandal that emerged in the summer of 2005.

The arrest follows the indictment last week of Peter Hartz, the former Volkswagen board member responsible for human resources. Hartz admitted in October to "a criminal responsibility for giving preferential treatment to the former works council head", according to German news agency DPA.

Volkert was arrested by prosecutors in Braunschweig, because of concerns about the suppression of evidence.

When the scandal emerged, it originally centred on bribery allegations by potential suppliers, and the creation of front companies to secure contracts overseas.

But, as details emerged, the scandal widened to include claims that works council members were invited on trips as special bonuses, and there were also allegations that so-called 'high-class prostitutes' were flown around the world.