Currently reading: Carlos Ghosn sues Nissan-Mitsubishi for millions in damages
Former Alliance chairman launches £13.5m lawsuit after he was ousted on charges of financial misconduct

Carlos Ghosn is reported to have launched a lawsuit against Nissan and Mitsubishi after he was removed as chairman of the Alliance last year on charges of financial misconduct.

Dutch newspaper NRC reports Ghosn is seeking €15 million (£13.5m) in damages in a case in the Netherlands, with his lawyer claiming proper procedure wasn't followed when the two Japanese companies ousted their chairman.

"In the Netherlands, if you want to fire an executive, you have to first tell him what he's being accused of and you have to provide him with the evidence for the accusations. Neither of those things has happened," lawyer Laurens de Graaf told the paper.

The case is being reviewed but a trial date hasn't been set. So far, Ghosn has launched no cases against his other former employer, Renault, because he resigned from the French firm's board of his own accord.

Ghosn, who has been charged with a number of financial misconduct offences, was planning to tell the world his side of the story in a press conference earlier this year and created a Twitter account to inform the public. However, he was re-arrested by Japanese authorities the next day before being freed on a £3.6m bail later that month.

He has since regularly repeated his claims he is being framed by Nissan executives and is innocent of the charges against him, including understating his income over five years by £34m. 

The 65-year-old was dismissed from his role as Nissan's chairman after he was arrested last November, but he officially remained on the board until a vote in Tokyo in April. 

Greg Kelly, the former Nissan special director who was arrested at the same time as Ghosn, was also sacked. Renault chairman Jean-Dominique Senard was added to the board as part of an effort to stabilise the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance following Ghosn's arrest.

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James Attwood

James Attwood, digital editor
Title: Acting magazine editor

James is Autocar's acting magazine editor. Having served in that role since June 2023, he is in charge of the day-to-day running of the world's oldest car magazine, and regularly interviews some of the biggest names in the industry to secure news and features, such as his world exclusive look into production of Volkswagen currywurst. Really.

Before first joining Autocar in 2017, James spent more than a decade in motorsport journalist, working on Autosport,, F1 Racing and Motorsport News, covering everything from club rallying to top-level international events. He also spent 18 months running Move Electric, Haymarket's e-mobility title, where he developed knowledge of the e-bike and e-scooter markets. 

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Lovema75 7 January 2020

Not quite.

Whether he is guilty of any, or all of the allegations we will have to wait and see - if we ever truly know.

However, the real point here, and why he's undoubtedly flown, is the lack of any confidence that he could receive a fair trial.

For a supposedly civilised country, Japan has shown itself crude and vicious in its treatment of him (and others). With a "justice" system that has over 99% conviction rate, in no way can a defendant ever be seen to have been treated in fairness - true guilt is made certain based upon properly tested evidence. He hasn't been found guilty by public opinion, but Japan's justice system has done so by its pernicious mistreatment before the trial has even started.

Leading a defendant into court on the end of a rope for alleged financial misdemeanors (as he was) shames decent, civilised society, and clearly shows that Japan's legal system isn't, and cannot be taken seriously.

It's likely that whatever evidence they claim to have found, it will be hard to have it taken seriously - why should it be when it's offered by individuals so ready to flout international standards and common decency?

Were I a company executive, I'd certainly not favour such a capricious country with so much investment and time.

lambo58 23 July 2019

Karma What goes around...


What goes around...

Hughbl 8 April 2019

I'm not a fan of the man

but he is being treated shockingly badly before the case has been proven. 

Cersai Lannister 9 April 2019

Ghosn but not forgotten

Hughbl wrote:

but he is being treated shockingly badly before the case has been proven. 

Having had first-hand experience of Ghosn and some of the other senior coterie around him I can't say I care for any of them. But I certainly think that he's been convicted in the court of media a little - but that's a simple case of easy reportage and maybe this is more common than we realize? What we are being denied is his side of the story by the way he's being handled