Sources: Nissan Considered Paying Juffali Directly

Sources: Nissan considered paying Juffali directly

Japanese prosecutors are expected to soon indict former Nissan Motor chairman Carlos Ghosn on another charge -- aggravated breach of trust. Friday is the last day of Ghosn's detention period.

Ghosn is suspected of paying about 15 million dollars to a company run by Saudi businessman Khaled Al-Juffali for helping him with credit guarantees needed for his personal investment losses. He was served a fresh warrant last month on suspicion of aggravated breach of trust.

The money was allegedly paid through Nissan Motor Middle East, a subsidiary of the automaker. Four payments were allegedly made to a company owned by Juffali between 2009 and 2012 as sales promotion and other costs.

Sources say Nissan itself considered paying the money to Juffali directly instead of to his company. But the money was eventually sent to his company after in-house inspections.

Former executives of the subsidiary have told Tokyo prosecutors that payments to Juffali were a given. They say even though Nissan did not have any business with Juffali's company, the money was paid as environmental research, sales promotion, or other expense items.

Sources say there are in-house notes that logged developments leading up to the payments.

A lawyer for Ghosn says his client said Juffali set up meetings with influential people in the Middle East to encourage investment in Nissan. He says the former chairman also paid Juffali 2.8 million dollars the year before he asked for the Saudi Arabian's help with credit guarantees.

The lawyer says Ghosn denies the charges, adding that the payments to Juffali were legitimate.