Carlos Ghosn's lawyers hit back at Nissan fraud claims

Carlos Ghosn

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Lawyers acting for ousted Nissan boss Carlos Ghosn have hit back after the car giant accused him of misusing the firm’s money for events abroad.

Nissan said its joint venture with Renault spent €3.9m (£3.3m) on Mr Ghosn’s personal expenses.

The events included a party at the Palace of Versailles and trips to Rio de Janeiro carnivals.

But Mr Ghosn’s defence team said Nissan never interviewed him or his aide Greg Kelly, who also faces criminal charges.

The lawyers said Nissan’s investigation was biased and designed to publicly smear him.

Mr Ghosn fled from Japan to Lebanon on 29 December to escape charges of financial misconduct. He later gave a news conference there in which he described his decision to abscond as the most difficult of his life.

He denies the charges of financial wrongdoing in Japan, instead claiming the country’s justice system is “rigged”.

“This report confirms that Nissan’s investigation was biased, lacked integrity and independence and was designed and executed for the predetermined purpose of taking out Carlos Ghosn,” the defence team said.

The lawyers’ statement came in response to a corporate governance report submitted by Nissan to the Tokyo Stock Exchange on Thursday.

It was similar to an earlier rebuttal which they issued shortly before Mr Ghosn’s news conference on 8 January.

In its report, Nissan also alleged that Mr Ghosn spent company funds on:

  • Dinners at the Marmottan Museum in Paris
  • Jewellery purchased at Cartier stores
  • Legal fees for a law firm in Lebanon.

It said the expenditure covered “personal expenses of Mr Ghosn” which were “unrelated to corporate purposes”.

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