Thursday, 21 March, 2019

Court 'bars Ghosn from attending' Nissan board meeting

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Priscilla Morrison | 12 March, 2019, 19:09

Ghosn, who strenuously denies all charges against him, was said to be "disappointed" not to be able to attend the meeting.

Nissan's board plans to meet to discuss the matter as soon as today and an announcement could be made shortly after, the people said.

"Mr Ghosn wants to have some time to mull over what he's going to say", Junichiro Hironaka told reporters outside his Tokyo office after meeting with Ghosn throughout the day. He spoke to reporters along with Renault's chief executive, Thierry Bollore; Nissan CEO Hiroto Saikawa and Osamu Masuko, CEO of the smaller Japanese alliance partner Mitsubishi Motors Corp.

Relations between Nissan and Renault are understood to be strained following the arrest of Ghosn in November 2018 on charges of financial misconduct.

He had asked to attend the board meeting but was conspicuously absent after the Tokyo District Court rejected his request on Monday.

Ghosn has said the claims of improper payments were a "distortion of reality".

Previously, the decision-making was up to the head of the Renault-Nissan joint venture board, which was headed by an executive from Renault, meaning Nissan did not have ultimate power to control alliance policies, according to Nissan. "And the third.is to respect people and consider them innocent as long as it has not been proven differently". He wished to attend the meeting, but the bail conditions require having the court's permission, so his attorney lodged the request on Friday.

More news: Toronto Raptors, Game 67 preview and listings

The MoU said that operational decisions taken by the board will be "consensus-based, furthering the Alliance's "win-win" approach".

Nissan holds a 15 percent, non-voting stake in Renault, whose top shareholder is the French government.

He believes that the accusations against him, which he has frequently described as "meritless and unsubstantiated", should not prevent him from giving his input into a company he saved from the brink.

The prosecutors subsequently arrested him again on two additional counts of financial misconduct, including for allegedly understating his income on another occasion and an alleged incident of aggravated breach of trust involving the transfer of private investment losses to Nissan during the global financial crisis in 2008.

The French automaker disclosed last month that the chateau had waived the usual €50,000 ($56,000) rental fee for the October 2016 party under a sponsorship fee signed a few months earlier.

Ghosn's lawyer in France, Jean-Yves Le Borgne, told AFP that the executive "stands ready" to repay the money, saying his client was "not aware he owed it because he had not been billed".

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