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Carlos Ghosn faces fresh financial misconduct charges

Autocar Carlos GhosnCarlos Ghosn
Friday, 11 January 2019 ()

Ex-Nissan boss maintains his innocence, but could be detained for several months until trial begins after new charges are filed

Former Nissan chairman Carlos Ghosn has been indicted on further charges in Japan, days after he issued a public statement claiming that he has been "wrongly accused" of serious financial misconduct.

Prosecutors have further indicted him for aggravated breach of trust and a separate charge of understating his income for another three years, after already facing a charge of doing the latter between 2010 and 2015.

The 64-year-old was arrested by prosecutors in the country last November. His hearing at a court in Tokyo on Tuesday was his first public appearance since then.

In a prepared statement to the court issued by his legal team, Ghosn said: “I am innocent of the accusations made against me. I have always acted with integrity and have never been accused of any wrongdoing in my several-decade professional career. 

“I have been wrongly accused and unfairly detained based on meritless and unsubstantiated accusations.”

The court hearing was requested by Ghosn’s lawyers to explain the reasons for his prolonged detention. The judge, Yuichi Tada, said it was because he was considered a flight risk, and the possibility of concealing evidence.

According to reports, Ghosn was led into the court in handcuffs and with a rope around his waist, and appeared notably thinner than previously.

In his statement, Ghosn also listed his achievements during his time as head of Nissan, and added: “I have a genuine love and appreciation for Nissan.

“I believe strongly that in all of my efforts on behalf of the company, I have acted honorably, legally and with the knowledge and approval of the appropriate executives inside the company – with the sole purpose of supporting and strengthening Nissan, and helping to restore its place as one of Japan’s finest and most respected companies.”

While he has been removed as the chairman of Nissan and Mitsubishi, Ghosn remains the chairman and CEO of Renault.

*Ghosn denies claims in statement*

Responding to the claims of under-reporting his salary, Ghosn said: “I never received any compensation from Nissan that was not disclosed, not did I ever enter into any binding contract with Nissan to be paid a fixed amount that was not disclosed.”

Ghosn’s statement included rebuttals of several of the specific charges made against him, which include claims he moved personal investment losses totalling 1.85bn yen (£13.3million) to Nissan.

Ghosn said he did ask the company to take on the collateral temporarily due to his foreign exchange contracts, but that the company did not lose money through this move.

Ghosn has also been accused of using Nissan funds to make payments to Saudi businessman Khaled Juffali, in return for a letter of credit to help with investment losses.

In response, Ghosn said that Juffali was “appropriately contributed” for helping Nissan secure funding, solve an issue with a distributor in the Gulf region and negotiate the development of a plant in Saudi Arabia.

Representatives of the Khaled Juffali Company also issued a statement, saying that the payments it received from Nissan were "for legitimate business pusposes".

*Read more*

*Nissan to oust boss Carlos Ghosn over claims of serious financial misconduct*

*Nissan officially dismisses Ghosn from chairman role*

*Renault keeps Ghosn in CEO role*

*Opinion: taking stock of Nissan's claims about Carlos Ghosn*
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▶ Auto Executive Carlos Ghosn Faces New Financial Misconduct Charges 01:07

Japanese prosecutors have indicted Ghosn for the second time on allegations of financial misconduct.

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