Ex-Nissan chief Ghosn charged, served with fresh arrest warrant

10 Décembre, 2018, 09:49 | Auteur: Auguste Feret

Authorities then re-arrested him later Monday over separate allegations that he also under-reported his income by a further four billion over the past three years.

The developments come a week after Japanese media reported that former Nissan chairman Carlos Ghosn's incarceration would be extended for another 10 days, following his arrest November 19 along with fellow alleged co-conspirator Greg Kelly, another Nissan director, on fraud charges.

During his meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Buenos Aires last week, French President Emmanuelle Macron asked Abe to help preserve the Nissan-Renault-Mitsubishi alliance in the recent arrest of former Nissan chairman Carlos Ghosn, according to Mainichi Shimbun.

Ghosn, who was sacked as Nissan chairman last month, is at the centre of a corruption investigation that has stunned the business world and put in doubt one of the most successful auto alliances of the last 20 years.

Ghosn and Kelly have admitted to the prosecutors that the former chairman's remuneration was not entirely stated in the reports, but have claimed that it was not necessary to do so because how much he would receive after his retirement had yet to be settled, according to sources with knowledge of the investigation.

The millionaire auto sector star, who attracted some criticism for a perceived lavish lifestyle, is now alone in a spartan cell in a Tokyo detention center, in a tiny room measuring just three tatami mats - around five square meters.

He has reportedly told embassy visitors he is being well treated but has complained of the cold, with Monday's temperature in the Japanese capital hovering around five degrees Celsius.

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Ghosn is suspected of deferring part of his pay to avoid criticism from staff and shareholders that his salary was too generous.

"If he is exempted from prosecution or found innocent, it is going to create huge confusion in Nissan's management".

In Japan, prosecutors and defendants begin a trial at a district court and can appeal to a high court and the Supreme Court. It may take several years before reaching a final judgement.

If found guilty, Ghosn could face a 10-year prison sentence.

The affair represents a staggering turnaround for a figure celebrated for saving Nissan from the brink of bankruptcy and rebuilding it as a money-making subsidiary of Renault.

A Brazilian court has granted Ghosn access to the Nissan-owned property in the Copacabana neighbourhood, but the company said in a statement on Sunday that it was now petitioning a higher court to reverse the decision. Ghosn is of Lebanese descent and holds Lebanese citizenship.

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