TOKYO – Japanese prosecutors raised free charges of financial error on Friday against Carlos Ghosn, the challenged global auto chief sitting in a Tokyo prison.
The new claims highlight the efforts of a Ghosn demonstration, until recently the head of the major car-producing alliance of Nissan, Renault and Mitsubishi, and the prosecutors, who have worked in conjunction with whistle-blowers in Nissan. It also points out that prosecutors remain undeterred by Ghosn’s latest allegation of innocence in court.
Mr. Ghosn, his top helper Greg Kelly and Nissan are now injured to underestimate Mr Ghosn’s income until March 201
8, according to a statement by the Tokyo District Court. Mr Ghosn was also accused of misappropriating personal losses to Nissan’s books in 2008.
Mr. Ghosn has been detained since November, when the prosecutors seized him shortly after his company flight rapped at a Tokyo airport. He was later accused with Mr. Kelly and Nissan himself, with suspicions of holding back millions of dollars in revenue from Nissan’s financial applications between 2011 and 2015 when he was both president and CEO of the company.
Now, Mr Ghosn has been ousted as chairman of both Nissan and Mitsubishi, although he remains on Nissan’s board and beats the alliance in chaos. Hiroto Saikawa, Nissan’s CEO and a single protégé from Ghosn, has disputed his former boss and describes him as a “mastermind” of a long-term system to mislead the financial authorities.
The automatic executive has denied accusations and declared at his first instance at a court on Tuesday that he had been “wrongly accused and unfairly detained by merciless and indisputable charges”.
The next step is likely to be Mr Ghosn’s lawyers applying for bail, which may happen as soon as Friday. Motonari Otsuru, Ghosn’s leading lawyer in Tokyo, has said he would ask for Mr Ghosn’s release on bail. But even Mr Otsuru, a former top prosecutor, has speculated that the authorities will try to deny the guarantor and that the executioner’s detention may extend for several months when the two sides go to court.
Mr. Ghos’s continued detention has felt a critical light on Japan’s criminal justice system. Mr Ghosn – who has been formally arrested three times and extended his prison – has been questioned without a lawyer and has so far only been allowed to see diplomats or his Japanese lawyer.
On Thursday, Ghosn came down with a fever, his local advisor said, raising concerns about the 64-year-old’s health. Mr. Ghosn was allowed to rest one day on the advice of government physicians, and his temperature was back to normal Friday morning, according to an update from his defense commissioners.
Mr. Ghos’s wife Carole Ghosn, who has not seen her husband since his arrest, issued a Thursday for more information on his condition.
“I ask the Japanese authorities to give us all the information at all about my husband’s health,” she said from Paris, where the couple maintains a home. “We are afraid and very worried that his recovery will be complicated while continuing to endure such harsh conditions and unfair treatment.”
Mr. Ghosn and Mr. Kelly was initially accused of accusations to emphasize Mr Ghosn’s result from April 2010 to March 2015 with half in securities. On Friday, prosecutors announced charges that the two also underestimated Ghosn’s remuneration by more than half between April 2015 and March 2018.
Throughout the period, the two are accused of underlining Ghosn’s remuneration by about $ 83 million. They say he reported compensation of $ 7.9 billion, or $ 73.2 million, compared to $ 17 billion in actual compensation, or $ 156.9 million.
Mr. Ghosn’s lawyers have argued that the deferred amounts were not firm commitments and did not need to be disclosed. Mr Kelly, who has been released on bail, has also denied inaccuracy.
Mr. Ghosn is further accused of temporarily transferring investment losses that he encountered during the global financial crisis of 2008 on Nissan’s books, which prosecutors say are contrary to Japanese corporate law. His lawyers said the transactions were legitimate, approved by the company’s board and did not lead to losses for the company.
The events have shaken foreign businessmen in Japan, who carefully scrutinized both the allegations and the motivation to keep him
Stephen Givens, a US business lawyer in Japan who has followed the case, said the allegations depended on what he called too high technical interpretations Ghosn’s and Nissan’s intentions, and whether Nissan had guaranteed that the deferred compensation promised to the automated manager would be paid.
Concerning the alleged transfer of losses, Givens said that the prosecution appears to investigate whether a governance clause approves Ghosn’s transactions was prepared in a sufficiently precise manner.
“My God,” he said. “Whether you are in prison or not, depends on the two questions?”
A good business executive who had celebrity status in Japan to turn Nissan almost two decades ago presided over the Brazilian-born, Lebanese and French-trained engineer until recently over a global auto empire selling more than 10 million cars a year.
Mr. Ghosn’s children have said they believe the charges against him are part of a rebellion in Nissan against a possible merger with Renault that could give the French manufacturer – and its largest shareholder, the French government – a more dominant role in alliance.
On Thursday, Renault said that its own internal review of its executives’ remuneration for 2017 and 2018 had revealed no error. The company is still reviewing executive salaries for previous years, the French automaker said in a statement. Mr Ghosn is still Renault’s President and CEO.
In a separate statement, Nissan said the board had “pointed out its commitment” to the alliance with Renault and Mitsubishi at a meeting on Thursday at Nissan’s headquarters in Yokohama. The automaker also announced a number of temporary steps to strengthen its corporate governance.