Nissan files criminal complaint against jailed ex-Chairman Ghosn

Daniel Fowler
Апреля 22, 2019

The charges reportedly filed on Monday are his fourth and are related to payments by a subsidiary of the Japanese vehicle maker that allegedly went to a private investment company controlled by Ghosn.

The indictment, Ghosn's fourth, was expected and it ensures he will remain in detention unless his request for bail is granted.

Ghosn contends that the compensation he allegedly under-reported was never decided upon or paid and that payments that prosecutors say amount to breach of trust were legitimate business transactions. "Such misconduct is completely unacceptable, and Nissan is requesting appropriately strict penalties", the automaker said.

Earlier this month Mr Ghosn said the allegations were a plot and conspiracy against him, accusing Nissan executives of "backstabbing". Ghosn's legal woes - beginning with his arrest in November - threw the companies' decades-old alliance into disarray and exposed a climate of deep suspicion at the top echelons of government and management.

Japanese media speculated that prosecutors are nearing the end of their investigation, but Tokyo deputy-chief prosecutor Shin Kukimoto said Monday he could not comment on whether any fresh charges might be filed against Ghosn.

According to the latest indictment, Ghosn caused a total of $5 million in losses to Nissan from July 2017 through July 2018. The disbursements were marked as marketing expenses, but prosecutors suspect they were channeled into personal use for such things as the purchase of a yacht and a 3 billion yen ($26.9 million) personal loan to Ghosn. He has been behind bars since that day at the Tokyo Detention House, where he had been held for 108 days until his release on bail March 6. The handling of Ghosn's case has triggered criticism of Japan's criminal justice system, where lengthy detentions of suspects during investigations are routine.

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Nissan will donate €100,000 ($NZ168,282) for the rebuilding of fire-ravaged Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, a pledge that comes as the Japanese automaker seeks to fix strained relations with the French government and partner Renault after former Chairman Carlos Ghosn was arrested.

"We maintain appropriate detention conditions, and [Ghosn] is not treated any worse than his Japanese counterparts".

Renault CEO Thierry Bollore, Renault Chairman Jean-Dominique Senard, Nissan CEO Hiroto Saikawa, Mitsubishi Motors Chairman and CEO Osamu Masuko cast their shadows at a joint news conference in Yokohama, Japan, March 12, 2019.

Sources have previously told Reuters that Nissan partner Renault SA has alerted French prosecutors after uncovering suspect payments to a partner in Oman.

Ghosn said some Nissan executives feared a Renault takeover.

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