The former head of the Volkswagen works council, Klaus Volkert, could be subjected to fines of several hundred thousand Euros, if he is convicted at the trial due to start later this week, according to the Spiegel magazine.

Volkert was at the centre of sex and bribery scandal at Volkswagen. Volkswagen received insurance payments worth 4.5 million euros as damages for the scandal from an insurance policy covering directors and officers. Now the insurance company wants to recover some of that money.

Former personnel director, Peter Hartz, who was also involved in the affair, received a two year suspended sentence and fines.

Volkert will face trial alongside a former personnel manager, Klaus-Joachim Gebauer. According to the Spiegal both are expected to receive sentences in excess of three years. Volkert is understood to have benefited more financially from the scandal than Hartz.

According to Focus magazine, Volkert's defence will focus on the fact that Volkswagen benefited from millions of euros of savings during the 15 years that Volkert was in post. They will argue that it is thanks to Volkert, amongst other things, that Volkswagen survived the early 1990s crisis that resulted in the introduction of the four day week at VW and the lowering of wages by 15%.