Japanese automaker Nissan on Friday said it filed its own criminal complaint against its former chairman, Carlos Ghosn, for the “misuse of a significant amount of the company’s funds.”
Ghosn has been arrested and charged by Japanese prosecutors with financial misconduct. On Friday, Tokyo prosecutors added a new indictment to the growing list of charges brought against the once-lauded executive.
Until the recent charges against him, Ghosn served as a top executive for Renault, Nissan and Mitsubishi. He was considered a key figure in establishing and then maintaining the alliance.
- Prosecutors filed two new charges against Ghosn: one for aggravated breach of trust for temporarily transferring personal investment losses to Nissan in 2008, the other for understating compensation for three years through to 2018.
- Nissan called for “strict penalties” when filing its complaint, which was “based on the same violation” of aggravated breach of trust.
- Prosecutors also filed an indictment against Nissan’s former Representative Director Greg Kelly for underreporting Ghosn’s income for three years through to 2018. Kelly’s lawyer said the latest indictment “comes as no surprise” and only appears to extend the time period from a previous indictment.
Read more: Who’s the man who could bring down Japan’s auto industry?
From top businessman to jail
Ghosn, a Brazilian-born businessman who made his name in France, was once hailed for spearheading Renault’s profitability post-privatization as well as bringing Nissan from the brink of bankruptcy in the late 1990s.
In the years after, he was described as one of the world’s most powerful businessmen. In 2008, one of the key years in the Japanese investigation, Ghosn was named chairman and chief executive of Nissan. A year later, he went on to the same roles at Renault.
In 2016, he became chairman of Mitsubishi after Nissan acquired a controlling stake in the Japanese company. All three companies would form an alliance together by 2017, making it one of the world’s largest auto groups.
In November, Ghosn was arrested for misuse of funds and breach of trust. He was subsequently forced to step down from his role at Nissan. Earlier this week, he made his first courtroom appearance, saying he was “wrongly accused and unfairly detained.”
He remains in jail pending trial. Ghosn continues to be Renault’s chief executive despite being stripped of his role at Nissan, although COO Thierry Bollore was appointed interim deputy CEO of the French automaker with the “same powers.”
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ls/msh (Reuters, dpa)
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