Martin Winterkorn, the 71-year-old former chief executive of the carmaker Volkswagen, has been charged in Germany over his involvement in the company's diesel emissions scandal.
The public prosecutor in Braunschweig charged the ex-CEO and four other unnamed senior managers with fraud.
VW said it would not comment on the indictments.
Mr Winterkorn is already facing criminal charges in the US, but is unlikely to face trial there, as Germany does not extradite its citizens.
In a statement, prosecutors accused Mr Winterkorn of a "particularly serious" fraud, as well as a breach of competition laws.
They said Mr Winterkorn should have alerted car owners and authorities in Europe and the US about the manipulation of diesel emissions tests sooner, and accused him of approving a ‘useless’ software update designed to conceal the true reason for the cars' higher emission levels.
If found guilty, the former executive could face a prison sentence of up to 10 years.
VW first admitted in September 2015 that it had used illegal software to cheat US emissions tests.
The scandal sparked investigations in Germany and other countries. Mr Winterkorn resigned soon after the scandal erupted.
To date, it has cost Volkswagen roughly €28 billion.