Carlos Ghosn's lawyers released a video of the former Nissan Chairman speaking to the public for the first time. It was filmed before his latest arrest. As he has in the past, he repeatedly proclaimed his innocence and didn't get into details of the charges.
In the roughly eight-minute video, Ghosn calls all the accusations against him biased, taken out of context and twisted to paint him as a greedy dictator.
TOKYO — Nissan's shareholders approved on Monday the ouster from the Japanese automaker's board of its former chairman, Carlos Ghosn, who is facing allegations of financial misconduct. The approval, which was expected, was indicated by applause from the more than 4,000 people gathered at a Tokyo hotel for a three-hour extraordinary shareholders' meeting. Other votes had been submitted in advance. Ahead of the vote, Nissan's top executive apologized to shareholders for the scandal at the Japanese automaker and asked them to approve Ghosn's dismissal. Chief Executive Hiroto Saikawa and other Nissan executives bowed deeply in apology to shareholders attending the extraordinary meeting at a Tokyo hotel. Shareholders also approved the appointment of French alliance partner Renault SA's Chairman Jean-Dominique Senard to replace Ghosn. Renault owns 43 percent of Nissan. Senard, introduced to shareholders at the meeting's end, thanked them and promised to do his best to keep the automaker's performance on track. "I will dedicate my energy to enhance the future of Nissan," said Senard. The shareholders also gave a green light to removing from the board a former executive direct, Greg Kelly, who has been charged with collaborating with Ghosn in the alleged misconduct. Angry shareholders demanded an explanation for how wrongdoing on an allegedly massive scale had gone unchecked for years. The meeting was closed except to stockholders but livestreamed. One shareholder said Nissan's entire management should resign immediately. Saikawa said he felt his responsibility lay in fixing the shoddy corporate governance at Nissan first, and continuing to lead its operations. Another shareholder asked if Nissan was prepared for a damage lawsuit from shareholders since its stock price has plunged. "I deeply, deeply apologize for all the worries and troubles we have caused," Saikawa said. "This is an unprecedented and unbelievable misconduct by a top executive." He outlined the findings of an internal investigation, such as payments of a consultation fee to Ghosn's sister for 13 years. The investigation has also found too much power had been focused in one person, he said. Ken Miyamoto, 65, a Nissan shareholder, said he was disappointed. "It is really such a pity as he was a brilliant manager," Miyamoto said of Ghosn before heading into the meeting. "I guess he became complacent as people kept praising him too much." Ghosn says he is innocent of all allegations and has suggested the accusations were made by some people at Nissan hoping to remove him from power. He has been charged with under-reporting his compensation in financial documents, and with breach of trust in having Nissan shoulder investment losses and making suspect payments to a Saudi businessman. Ghosn says the compensation was never decided on or paid, no investment losses were suffered by Nissan, and the payments were for legitimate services. Ghosn was arrested in November, released on bail in early March and then re-arrested for a fourth time last week. The latest arrest was in connection with fresh allegations that $5 million sent by a Nissan Motor Co. subsidiary and meant for an Oman dealership was diverted to a company effectively controlled by Ghosn. His detention on that allegation has been approved through April 14 but could be extended. The date of his trial has not been set. Carole Ghosn, the wife of Carlos Ghosn, appealed to French President Emmanuel Macron for help. "I'm asking that we allow him the presumption of innocence like all French citizens, and France must do something," she told France's RTL radio. She was with her husband in Tokyo when he was arrested last week, an ordeal she described as humiliating. Japanese investigators confiscated her Lebanese passport, but she used her American passport to leave for France on Friday, she said. "I'd never been so proud of him because he remained dignified. He held his head high and he was calm," she said. Ghosn's lawyers in Japan said that Tuesday they will show a videotape of Ghosn's comments. It was taped before he was taken into custody. Yokohama-based Nissan, which makes the Leaf electric car, March subcompact and Infiniti luxury models, was on the brink of bankruptcy when Renault sent Ghosn to turn it around two decades ago. The Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Motors alliance now rivals auto giants Volkswagen AG of Germany and Japanese rival Toyota Motor Corp. in global sales. Saikawa told shareholders the company will stick by the alliance, fix its governance problems and make the ouster of Ghosn "a turning point." "We had allowed a system in which wrongdoing could be carried out without detection," he said.
Tokyo prosecutors have arrested former Nissan Motor Chairman Carlos Ghosn for a fourth time on suspicion of aggravated breach of trust. It is rare for prosecutors in Japan to arrest someone who has been released on bail.
Ghosn is reportedly denying all charges.
Prosecutors say Ghosn directed a part of Nissan's funds to a dealership in Oman operated by his acquaintance. The payments were made from 2015 through last year. He is suspected of causing Nissan to lose about 5 million dollars as a result of this transaction.
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.
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.
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.