Ex-Nissan boss maintains his innocence, but could be detained for several months until trial begins after new charges are filed
James Attwood, digital editor
11 January 2019

Former Nissan chairman Carlos Ghosn has been indicted on further charges in Japan, days after he issued a public statement claiming that he has been "wrongly accused" of serious financial misconduct.

Prosecutors have further indicted him for aggravated breach of trust and a separate charge of understating his income for another three years, after already facing a charge of doing the latter between 2010 and 2015.

The 64-year-old was arrested by prosecutors in the country last November. His hearing at a court in Tokyo on Tuesday was his first public appearance since then.

In a prepared statement to the court issued by his legal team, Ghosn said: “I am innocent of the accusations made against me. I have always acted with integrity and have never been accused of any wrongdoing in my several-decade professional career. 

“I have been wrongly accused and unfairly detained based on meritless and unsubstantiated accusations.”

The court hearing was requested by Ghosn’s lawyers to explain the reasons for his prolonged detention. The judge, Yuichi Tada, said it was because he was considered a flight risk, and the possibility of concealing evidence.

According to reports, Ghosn was led into the court in handcuffs and with a rope around his waist, and appeared notably thinner than previously.

In his statement, Ghosn also listed his achievements during his time as head of Nissan, and added: “I have a genuine love and appreciation for Nissan.

“I believe strongly that in all of my efforts on behalf of the company, I have acted honorably, legally and with the knowledge and approval of the appropriate executives inside the company – with the sole purpose of supporting and strengthening Nissan, and helping to restore its place as one of Japan’s finest and most respected companies.”

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While he has been removed as the chairman of Nissan and Mitsubishi, Ghosn remains the chairman and CEO of Renault.

Ghosn denies claims in statement

Responding to the claims of under-reporting his salary, Ghosn said: “I never received any compensation from Nissan that was not disclosed, not did I ever enter into any binding contract with Nissan to be paid a fixed amount that was not disclosed.”

Ghosn’s statement included rebuttals of several of the specific charges made against him, which include claims he moved personal investment losses totalling 1.85bn yen (£13.3million) to Nissan.

Ghosn said he did ask the company to take on the collateral temporarily due to his foreign exchange contracts, but that the company did not lose money through this move.

Ghosn has also been accused of using Nissan funds to make payments to Saudi businessman Khaled Juffali, in return for a letter of credit to help with investment losses.

In response, Ghosn said that Juffali was “appropriately contributed” for helping Nissan secure funding, solve an issue with a distributor in the Gulf region and negotiate the development of a plant in Saudi Arabia.

Representatives of the Khaled Juffali Company also issued a statement, saying that the payments it received from Nissan were "for legitimate business pusposes".

Read more

Nissan to oust boss Carlos Ghosn over claims of serious financial misconduct

Nissan officially dismisses Ghosn from chairman role

Renault keeps Ghosn in CEO role

Opinion: taking stock of Nissan's claims about Carlos Ghosn

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Comments
9

8 January 2019

Some defence that, "Ghosn said he did ask the company to take on the collateral" they just took on £13 million of personal losses as a favour.

Looking forward to hearing the details although looking at past Jananese court cases they seem to involve a pay off to minimise prision sentences. 

typos1 - Just can’t respect opinion

8 January 2019

The prosecutors also need to ask the defence to cough up some documents the defendant asked his daughter to remove from one of his apartments.. possibly some incriminating info that he doesnt want revealed !

8 January 2019

 Let’s face it, he’s not the first, he won’t be the last.....

Peter Cavellini.

FM8

11 January 2019
I bet he's learning the rusty trombone to pass time.

11 January 2019

Meanwhile, Renault’s CEO remains behind bars in Japan. Surely this situation is untenable. They are clearly reluctant to fire him but why hasn’t he temporarily stood down until the case has been heard and a decision reached?

11 January 2019

It seems to me that everyone on this forum has rushed to the judgement that Ghosn is guilty. So far all we have heard are the charges against him, none of the detail and certainly no actual evidence. These charges have been eked out in a manner (which would be considered illegal in the UK) designed to keep him behind bars for as long as possible and damage his defence. Why should Renault fire him? He hasn't been found guilty in Japan and I'm not sure that some of the things he is accused of are even crimes in France or the UK. He runs 3 car companies on 2 continents and has a Brazilian/Lebanese background....of course his tax affairs will be complex. Did anyone notice that the two arrested Directors are both non-Japanese? It would have been impossible for them to commit fraud or act improperly without the acquiesence or involvement of several Japanese colleagues. Why are isn't the Finance Director or Financial Controller implicated? Have a look at Michael Woodford's book on his time at Olympia if you want to see how corporate Japan deals with outsiders. 

11 January 2019

Renault response is required now to explain the current situation. who runs the company, how the saga influences everything. Possible customers will shy away from the brand, maybe buy brandy instead.

11 January 2019
sabre wrote:

Renault response is required now to explain the current situation. who runs the company, how the saga influences everything. Possible customers will shy away from the brand, maybe buy brandy instead.

Surely it is now up to the Japanese authorities to prove his guilt? Renault have explained how they will run things in his absence...if he is found guilty they will need to get a new CEO, otherwise not.

12 January 2019

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