Nissan shareholders remove former chairman Carlos Ghosn from its board

Tokyo: Shareholders of Nissan Motor on Monday voted to remove former chairman Carlos Ghosn from its board amid allegations of financial misconduct.

Al Jazeera reported that the shareholders also voted out another director, named Greg Kelly, and replaced Ghosn with Renault Chairman Jean-Dominique Senard.

The announcement came after Ghosn was reportedly fired as the chairman of both Nissan and Mitsubishi Motors following his arrest in December, after which he stepped down as the chairman and CEO of French carmaker Renault.

Last week, the Tokyo District Court approved the detention of the 65-year-old until April 14 after Ghosn was arrested once again for the fourth time on Thursday by Tokyo prosecutors on suspicions of aggravated breach of trust.

This detention period can be extended for 10 more days if the court allows, meaning Ghosn is unlikely to be released any time soon.

Ghosn’s re-arrest on Thursday comes days after he was released on bail by a Tokyo court after spending 108 days in detention, during which he was indicted on charges of aggravated breach of trust and underreporting his
remuneration for Japanese carmaker Nissan Motor.

Prosecutors in Tokyo believe that Ghosn allegedly misused Nissan’s funds for personal use through a dealership in Oman. They suspect that some funds, out of the USD 34 million paid to the dealership, were used to pay for a yacht, which was used by Ghosn.

The former Nissan chief faces three separate charges. The first two relate to the alleged deferring of around USD 80 million in income and concealing this in official documents to shareholders.

Whereas, according to the third charge, Ghosn attempted to transfer personal losses to Nissan and paid a Saudi contact, who provided collateral from company funds.

Just before his arrest on Thursday, Ghosn took to Twitter to announce an upcoming press conference earlier slated to take place on April 11.

However, Ghosn has denied the allegations and described his re-arrest as “outrageous and arbitrary”.

“Why arrest me except to try to break me? I will not be broken. I am innocent of the groundless charges and accusations against me,” he said.

He added that his arrest is an attempt by “some individuals at Nissan” to “silence him” and mislead the prosecutors.

The former CEO called for a free trial and expressed confidence that he would emerge innocent if tried fairly.