NHK has learned that former Nissan Motor Chairman Carlos Ghosn paid nearly 50 million dollars to two Nissan dealers in the Middle East from the automaker's CEO reserve, which Ghosn could use at his discretion.
Ghosn has been detained since November, when he was arrested on suspicion of understating his executive compensation in Nissan securities reports.
Last month, Tokyo prosecutors brought a new arrest warrant against him for allegedly arranging an illicit payment of about 15 million dollars to a company run by his Saudi acquaintance Khaled Al-Juffali.
The prosecutors say the money was paid from the CEO reserve through Nissan's Middle Eastern subsidiary, allegedly as compensation for helping Ghosn cover personal losses in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis.
Sources told NHK that nearly 50 million dollars from the fund was also paid to the two dealers in Oman and Lebanon who are Ghosn's acquaintances.
The one in Oman reportedly received about 32 million dollars, and the one in Lebanon 16 million dollars.
The sources said the Omani dealer later paid about 14 million dollars to Ghosn.
Ghosn's lawyer cites him as saying the payment to Juffali was legitimate compensation, and that the money paid to the Omani and Lebanese dealers were also proper rewards for good performance and paid over years.
Ghosn is said to be explaining that the payments had nothing to do with the money he received from the Omani acquaintance.