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Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 18 January 2019

Nissan moves to block Ghosn access to Rio flat

Japanese car maker now petitioning a higher court to reverse a decision made by Brazil court to grant arrested former chairman access

Carlos Ghosn is being held custody in Japan . Nissan is seeking to stop him being able to enter his flat in Brazil. Reuters
Carlos Ghosn is being held custody in Japan . Nissan is seeking to stop him being able to enter his flat in Brazil. Reuters

Nissan said it was seeking to block former chairman Carlos Ghosn's access to an apartment in Rio de Janeiro, citing a risk that the executive, arrested and removed from his role for alleged financial misconduct, may remove or destroy evidence.

Brazilian-born Mr Ghosn has been detained in Tokyo since his November 19 arrest on suspicion of conspiring with former Nissan representative director Greg Kelly to understate his compensation by about half of the actual $88 million, over five years from 2010.

Tokyo authorities extended their detention until the maximum December 10 for the alleged crime.

A Brazil court has granted Mr Ghosn access to the property, owned by Nissan, in the Copacabana neighbourhood, according to Reuters but the company said on Sunday that it was now petitioning a higher court to reverse the decision.

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"Nissan has been cooperating with authorities to investigate misconduct on the part of its former chairman, and is working to prevent the destruction of any potential evidence that could occur by allowing access to residences in question," a Nissan spokesman said.

A source said Mr Ghosn, Mr Kelly and Nissan itself will be indicted as early as Monday.

"Nissan identified serious misconduct related to the reporting of Mr Ghosn's compensation. The company has been providing information to the Japanese Public Prosecutors Office and has been fully cooperating with its investigation. We will continue to do so," the Nissan spokesman said.

On Friday, The National reported that Japanese prosecutors will press charges against Nissan.

In Japan, putting wrong declarations in an annual report is an offence for which corporations can be held liable, in addition to the persons or officials involved, local media said. Charges could be framed against Nissan - as a company - on Monday for not stopping its officials from furnishing fabricated details over a number of years.

It is likely that the company and the two former executives will be indicted over misstatements and misreporting of earnings in the five annual reports leading up to the fiscal year ending March 2015.

Updated: December 9, 2018 12:43 PM

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