Court Rejects Carlos Ghosn's Request To Attend Nissan Board Meeting

Court rejects Carlos Ghosn's request to attend Nissan board meeting

TOKYO — A Japanese court has rejected a request by former Nissan chairman Carlos Ghosn, released on bail last week, to attend the Japanese automaker's board meeting on Tuesday. Nissan dismissed Ghosn as chairman after his Nov. 19 arrest, but he remains on the board. The Tokyo District Court said it rejected Ghosn's request on Monday but did not elaborate on the reasons. It had been unclear whether Ghosn could attend the board meeting. The court's approval was needed based on restrictions imposed for his release on bail. The restrictions say he cannot tamper with evidence, and attending the board meeting could be seen as putting pressure on Nissan employees. Prosecutors had been expected to argue against his attendance. They were not available for immediate comment. Ghosn has been charged with falsifying financial reports in underreporting his compensation and breach of trust in making payments to a Saudi businessman and having Nissan shoulder investment losses. He insists he is innocent, saying the compensation was never decided or paid, the payments were for legitimate services and Nissan never suffered the losses. Since his release on March 6 from Tokyo Detention Center on 1 billion yen ($9 million) bail, he has been spotted taking walks in Tokyo with his family, but he has not made any comments. His attempt to exercise what his lawyer, Junichiro Hironaka, called his "duty" by attending the board meeting signals one way he may be fighting back. Hironaka has said Ghosn will speak to reporters soon. A date for a news conference has not been announced. Nissan said Monday that Renault Chairman Jean-Dominique Senard, Renault Chief Executive Thierry Bollore, Nissan Motor Co. CEO Hiroto Saikawa, and Osamu Masuko, the chairman and CEO of Mitsubishi Motors Corp., will hold a joint news conference Tuesday after the board meeting. Nissan appears determined to highlight new leadership without Ghosn. It is part of an alliance with Renault SA of France, and more recently with Japan's Mitsubishi Motors, that was largely cobbled together by Ghosn, who led Nissan for two decades. Nissan, which makes the March subcompact, Leaf electric car and Infiniti luxury models, has denounced Ghosn for alleged misconduct. A decision at a shareholders' meeting is needed to remove Ghosn from the board. A shareholders' meeting is scheduled for next month.

Carlos Ghosn Steps Out In Tokyo

Carlos Ghosn steps out in Tokyo

Nissan Motor's former chairman has been spotted visiting a park with his family, after leaving a Tokyo detention center on bail earlier this week.

Carlos Ghosn was seen outside his residence on Friday afternoon.

Carlos Ghosn Released On Bail

Carlos Ghosn released on bail

Former Nissan Motor Chairman Carlos Ghosn has been released on bail. After spending over 100 days in detention, he has posted nearly 9 million dollars and walked out of a Tokyo detention center.

Ghosn's freedom is conditional. The 64-year-old can't leave Japan. He's prohibited from contacting people involved with the case. And he must submit to video surveillance and internet restrictions.

Nissan Ex-chairman Carlos Ghosn Wins Release From Jail

Nissan ex-Chairman Carlos Ghosn wins release from jail

TOKYO — The Tokyo District Court approved the release of former Nissan Chairman Carlos Ghosn on bail of 1 billion yen ($8.9 million) on Tuesday, although the end of his four months of detention in Japan was delayed when prosecutors appealed that decision. Prosecutors filed their objection to Ghosn's release within hours of the announcement he was going to be granted bail. But their appeal was rejected by the court, paving the way for his release. A lawyer for Ghosn said he would not be able to leave the Tokyo Detention Center until Wednesday at the earliest, because bail procedures can't be done at night. The acceptance of Ghosn's request for bail, his third, came a day after the lawyer, Junichiro Hironaka, said he was confident the auto executive would gain his release. Hironaka, who recently joined Ghosn's defense team, is famous for winning acquittals in Japan, a nation where the conviction rate is 99 percent. Hironaka said Monday that he had offered new ways to monitor Ghosn after his release, such as camera surveillance. Hironaka also questioned the grounds for Ghosn's arrest, calling the case "very peculiar," and suggesting it could have been dealt with as an internal company matter. He welcomed the decision, telling reporters: "It was good we proposed concrete ways showing how he would not tamper with evidence or try to flee." The 1 billion yen bail set by the court was relatively high but not the highest ever in Japan. Among the conditions for Ghosn's release were restrictions on where he can live, a ban on foreign travel and other promises not to tamper with evidence or try to flee, the court said. The former head of the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Motors alliance has been detained since he was arrested on Nov. 19. He says he is innocent of charges of falsifying financial information and of breach of trust. In Japan, suspects are routinely detained for months, often until their trials start. That's especially true of those who insist on their innocence. Prosecutors say suspects may tamper with evidence and shouldn't be released. Two previous requests submitted by his legal team were denied. His previous defense lawyer, Motonari Ohtsuru, had said Ghosn's release might not come for months. Hironaka is among many critics of the Japanese justice system who say such lengthy detentions of suspects are unfair. He referred to the situation as "hostage justice." Ghosn is charged with falsifying financial reports by under-reporting compensation that he contends was never paid or decided upon. The breach of trust allegations center on a temporary transfer of Ghosn's investment losses to Nissan's books that he says caused no losses to the automaker. They also name payments to a Saudi businessman that he says were for legitimate services. Ghosn's family had appealed for his release, calling his detention a human rights violation. Nissan Motor Co. declined comment on the criminal case but said it was working on strengthening corporate governance. Nissan has dismissed Ghosn as chairman, although he remains on the board pending a decision at a shareholders' meeting. "Nissan's internal investigation has uncovered substantial evidence of blatantly unethical conduct," company spokesman Nick Maxfield said.

Court Upholds Carlos Ghosn's Bail

Court upholds Carlos Ghosn's bail

Nissan Motor's former chairman Carlos Ghosn is one step closer to being released on bail and could be ending more than a hundred days in a Tokyo jail.

A Tokyo court upheld its decision to grant bail to Ghosn, rejecting an appeal by prosecutors.

Carlos Ghosn Granted Bail

Carlos Ghosn granted bail

The Tokyo District Court has granted bail to Nissan Motor's former chairman Carlos Ghosn. The 64-year-old auto executive could be released from detention by the end of Tuesday after being held for 107 days.

Ghosn's bail has been set at about 8.9 million dollars.

Carlos Ghosn Denied Bail Again

Carlos Ghosn denied bail again

A Tokyo court has shot down another bail request by Nissan Motor's former Chairman. Carlos Ghosn has been in custody for over 2 months. That period is likely to stretch even longer with little prospects he will be released any time soon. His lawyers are expected to appeal the decision.

This is the second time his defense team had applied for bail, after Ghosn's most recent indictment earlier this month. He was charged with aggravated breach of trust and for underreporting his compensation.

Nissan's Carlos Ghosn Offers To Wear Electronic Ankle Tag If Released

Nissan's Carlos Ghosn offers to wear electronic ankle tag if released

TOKYO — Ousted Nissan Chairman Carlos Ghosn has offered to wear an electronic ankle tag and hire guards to monitor him in an unusual bid to secure his release on bail after two months of harsh detention in Japan for alleged financial crimes. Ghosn is also willing to remain in Tokyo, where he has leased an apartment, and post stock he owns in Nissan as collateral, his spokeswoman said. A new bail hearing is set for Monday after an earlier request was denied due partly to concerns the French executive was a flight risk. His release would allow Ghosn to meet more frequently with his lawyers and defend himself before the board of Renault, where he remains chairman and CEO, amid calls for his removal and potential moves to restructure the Nissan tie-up. Ghosn denies any wrongdoing as he awaits trial on charges of financial misconduct. "I will attend my trial not only because I am legally obligated to do so, but because I am eager to finally have the opportunity to defend myself," Ghosn said in a statement on Sunday. "I am not guilty of the charges against me, and I look forward to defending my reputation in the courtroom." Meanwhile, Ghosn's wife, Carole Ghosn, has written to French President Emmanuel Macron to discuss her husband's situation, her public relations representative said. The representative, Devon Spurgeon, confirmed a report in French paper Journal du Dimanche that a letter had been sent to Macron this month, but declined to provide details.

France wants a full merger

As Ghosn's arrest on Nov. 19 continued to cloud the outlook for Nissan's three-way alliance with France's Renault and Mitsubishi Motors, Nissan said it was not the time to discuss revising the partners' capital ties. Ghosn, who spearheaded Nissan's turnaround two decades ago, had pushed for a deeper tie-up between Nissan and Renault, including possibly a full merger by 2020, despite strong reservations at the Japanese firm. "We are not at the stage for such discussions," Nissan CEO Hiroto Saikawa told reporters on Monday. Saikawa said he had not heard directly about a reported proposal by the French government to integrate the Japanese carmaker's management with Renault. The Nikkei newspaper reported on Sunday that a French government delegation had informed Tokyo that it would seek an integration of Renault and Nissan, most likely under the umbrella of a single holding company. "Since I have not heard this directly, I cannot comment," Saikawa told reporters. Japanese public broadcaster NHK quoted French Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire as telling journalists that an integration proposal was "not on the table now." A source familiar with Nissan's thinking said the reported French proposal did not "make sense" given the two companies' different cultures, Renault's lower productivity and Nissan's bigger contribution of key technology. "It's a virtual merger, I don't think it makes sense," the source said, adding he had not heard directly of such a French proposal.

'Questionable ethical standards'

Renault, which dominates the partnership through its 43.4 percent stake in Nissan, is expected to meet within days to consider potential candidates to replace Ghosn as chief executive officer and chairman. Michelin Chief Executive Jean-Dominique Senard could be a good choice, French finance minister Bruno Le Maire said in a newspaper interview. The co-chair of a committee set up by Nissan to examine the root cause of Ghosn's alleged financial misconduct and propose corporate governance reforms said on Sunday he believed Ghosn may have had dubious standards. "Having read the report on the internal investigation, my initial impression was that the head of the company may have had questionable ethical standards," committee co-chair Seiichiro Nishioka told a briefing late on Sunday after the panel held its first meeting. Nishioka, a former judge, added that he also saw problems with Nissan's governance, including the process of determining compensation for directors. The panel, comprising three Nissan external directors and four third-party members, expects to meet three or four times before making recommendations to Nissan's board in March on how to tighten lax governance and approval processes for matters including director compensation and chairman selection. All seven members attended the first meeting in Tokyo, including Jean-Baptiste Duzan, an external director based in France. For four hours, they discussed issues with two people involved with Nissan including how power had been heavily concentrated with Ghosn for years, Nishioka said, and possible ways to avoid such focus in the future. Nishioka added that such a concentration of authority in one person was "questionable." Nissan and partner Mitsubishi Motors, in which Nissan owns a controlling 34 percent stake, have been conducting their own internal investigations into alleged wrongdoing by Ghosn. On Friday both accused him of improperly receiving $9 million in compensation from a joint venture between the two automakers, raising the possibility that the former boss of the Nissan-Renault alliance could face a fresh charge of embezzlement.

Carlos Ghosn Denied Bail

Carlos Ghosn denied bail

A Tokyo court has denied bail to Nissan Motor's former Chairman. Carlos Ghosn has been in detention for nearly two months since November.

Ghosn's lawyers are expected to appeal the decision. But if that's denied, his detention will be prolonged.

Prosecutors Indict Carlos Ghosn Again

Prosecutors indict Carlos Ghosn again

Tokyo prosecutors have brought a new indictment against Nissan's former chairman Carlos Ghosn. The former auto tycoon has been charged with aggravated breach of trust and with violating a financial law by underreporting his compensation.

It's alleged Ghosn inappropriately transferred funds from a Nissan subsidiary to a Saudi Arabian businessman's company after the man helped Ghosn cover personal investment losses.