Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 24 May 2019

Ex-Nissan boss Carlos Ghosn indicted for fourth time on new charges

Nissan filed a criminal complaint against Ghosn for misdirection of company funds

Former Nissan chairman Carlos Ghosn leaving his lawyer's office in Tokyo. Mr Ghosn was charged on April 22, 2019 with alleged financial misconduct, the fourth set of formal charges against the former auto sector tycoon. / AFP / Kazuhiro NOGI
Former Nissan chairman Carlos Ghosn leaving his lawyer's office in Tokyo. Mr Ghosn was charged on April 22, 2019 with alleged financial misconduct, the fourth set of formal charges against the former auto sector tycoon. / AFP / Kazuhiro NOGI

Tokyo prosecutors indicted Nissan Motors former chairman Carlos Ghosn on new charges of aggravated breach of trust as the former executive continues to deny all allegations against him.

Mr Ghosn was charged with misdirecting company funds to a distributor in Oman, according to a Tokyo court. The new round of charges will keep Mr Ghosn detained for longer, pending another likely bail request by his lawyer, and comes after he was arrested for a second time earlier this month on new allegations of siphoning $5 million from Nissan to accounts he controlled.

Earlier on Monday, Nissan said it filed a criminal complaint against Mr Ghosn for his actions.

The automaker determined that payments made by Nissan to an overseas vehicle sales company via a subsidiary “were in fact directed by Ghosn for his personal enrichment and were not necessary from a business standpoint”, Nissan said in a statement.

“Such misconduct is completely unacceptable and Nissan is requesting appropriately strict penalties,” the carmaker said. “Nissan takes this unfortunate situation very seriously and again expresses sincere regret for any concern caused to our valued stakeholders.”

Mr Ghosn, who was released on $9 million bail in March after spending 108 days in jail, has denied all allegations against him. Prosecutors had to indict or release Mr Ghosn by Monday under the terms of his detention.

Mr Ghosn already faces three other charges, related to allegedly understating his income and for allegedly transferring personal investment losses to Nissan.

The latest round of charges are the most serious allegations yet. Another lengthy detention means the former auto-tycoon will have limited access to lawyers, which makes it more difficult for him to prepare for a trial that could start later this year.

His lawyers have launched a campaign against the Tokyo prosecutors, noting that treatment of Mr Ghosn has violated international and human rights laws.

Mr Ghosn, widely credited with rescuing Nissan from failure and bringing it together with Renault and Mitsubishi Motors, was first arrested in November, sending shockwaves across Japan, France and the global auto industry.

Updated: April 22, 2019 10:54 PM

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