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Ghosn Barred from Attending Nissan Board Meeting

Ghosn Barred from Attending Nissan Board Meeting

Monday, 11 March, 2019 - 09:30
Former Nissan Motor Chairman Carlos Ghosn sits inside a car as he leaves his lawyer's office after being released on bail from Tokyo Detention House, in Tokyo, Japan, March 6, 2019. (Reuters)
Asharq Al-Awsat
A Tokyo court barred on Monday ousted Nissan boss Carlos Ghosn from attending a board meeting Tuesday, reported broadcaster NHK.

Ghosn, released last week on a $9 million bail after more than 100 days in detention, had applied to the Tokyo District Court for permission to attend Tuesday’s board meeting, as per bail conditions, his lawyer Junichiro Hironaka told reporters.

Under the terms of his release, he is forbidden from contacting people who could be involved in his case, including Nissan executives likely to attend board meetings, such as CEO Hiroto Saikawa.

Other conditions of Ghosn's bail include living in a residence monitored from outside by camera. He can only access a non-internet connected computer at his lawyer's office.

The court’s decision on Monday stopped what would have been a dramatic face off between Ghosn and the colleagues he has accused of fomenting a coup. Further details of the denial were not available.

Ghosn faces charges of under-reporting his salary at Nissan by about $82 million over nearly a decade - charges he has called “meritless”.

The report of the court’s decision came as French automaker Renault SA, Nissan’s top shareholder, confirmed it was in talks with Nissan Motor and Mitsubishi Motors about setting up a new alliance body to improve their collaboration.

Ghosn’s dramatic arrest in November has caused concerns about the future of the three-way alliance, the world’s largest maker of automobiles excluding heavy trucks.

“The proposed arrangement will have no impact on the existence of the (alliance agreement) and the cross-shareholding structure, which will both remain in place,” Renault said.

Nissan, Renault and Mitsubishi plan to set up a joint board meeting structure under which Renault’s new chairman, Jean-Dominique Senard, is likely to take the chair, people with direct knowledge of the matter told Reuters.

That would replace Dutch-based companies currently linking Nissan and Renault and, separately, Nissan and Mitsubishi Motors, the people said.

Ghosn’s arrest exposed rifts between the Japanese and French manufacturers and he claimed in an interview with AFP his detention was a "story of betrayal" as Nissan wanted to avoid closer integration with Renault.

One of the world’s best-known auto executives, Ghosn was sacked as chairman of Nissan, Renault and Mitsubishi, and resigned as chief executive of Renault after his arrest.

However, he remains on the boards of all three, given a shareholder vote is required to remove a board member.

An extraordinary shareholders' meeting is expected to take place on April 8.

The up-and-down saga of Ghosn has gripped Japan and the business world ever since Japanese prosecutors stormed his private jet at a Tokyo airport on November 19 brandishing accusations of serious financial malpractice.

To general surprise, he was accorded bail last week ahead of his trial, which could take several months to organize given the complexity of the case and the need to translate documents.

Since his release, media have tracked down his residence and followed his every step, even pursuing him to a central Tokyo park at the weekend when he went for a stroll with his family.

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