Published: Sat, January 18, 2020
Markets | By Otis Pena

Ex-boss Carlos Ghosn used company money for private events: Nissan

Ex-boss Carlos Ghosn used company money for private events: Nissan

Some members of former Nissan Motor Co. chairman Carlos Ghosn's defense counsel have resigned from the case, with lawyer Junichiro Hironaka saying he has quit as of Thursday.

It's uncertain whether Ghosn's third lawyer, Hiroshi Kawatsu, is still representing him.

In an email statement, Hironaka said that everyone involved in the case in his practice had resigned.

Aiming to dispel insinuations that the two-decade partnership between Renault and Nissan was in tatters, Renault Chairman Jean-Dominique Senard said on Thursday a "real desire" was there at the forefront of making the relationship with Nissan a success.

In a corporate governance report submitted to the Tokyo Stock Exchange, Nissan said that its joint venture with Renault SA was at least € 4.9 million (¥ 601.3 million) as "personal expenses of Mr. Ghosn and regardless of the corporate purposes of the company Company ".

Japan has issued worldwide wanted notices for the couple, which means the two will live in Lebanon as fugitives and could be arrested if they leave their country. Japanese Justice Minister Masako Mori has described Ghosn's criticism of her country's judicial system as "absolutely unbearable".

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Hironaka, who earlier expressed disappointment at his client's decision to abscond, had said he would quit once his client had settled his account.

It was the latest twist in a saga that has captivated the automotive industry ever since November 2018 when Ghosn was arrested at a Tokyo airport after a team of prosecutors stormed onto his private jet.

A string of senior executives at Nissan overpaid themselves in the corruption scandal which brought down former boss Carlos Ghosn, investigators have claimed.

The resignations came after Ghosn smuggled himself out of Japan last month to Lebanon in an elaborate escape that humiliated Japan's law enforcement officials and his defence lawyers. After his wealthy client popped up in Beirut, Hironaka - who is known for winning significant cases in a country where more than 99 percent of criminal cases lead to convictions - reportedly said Ghosn's flight was "totally unexpected".

Investigators believe that Carole, who is now in Lebanon with Ghosn, may have destroyed evidence in connection with her husband's case involving financial misconduct.

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