Ghosn: Former Nissan-Renault chief re-arrested in Japan

Wednesday - 03/04/2019 19:33
AFP / In early March, Mr Ghosn was released after 108 days in detention.
AFP / In early March, Mr Ghosn was released after 108 days in detention.
Former Nissan-Renault chief Carlos Ghosn has been re-arrested in Tokyo while out on bail pending trial over claims of financial misconduct.

Prosecutors had been building a new case against him involving payments to a dealer in Oman, Japanese media said.

Mr Ghosn, who has strongly denied wrongdoing, had only recently been released from prison after being arrested last November.

On Wednesday, Renault accused him of "questionable and concealed practices".

The re-arrest marks another dramatic twist the rapid fall from grace of one of the global car industry's most feted executives. He led the Nissan-Renault alliance and was credited with turning around the fortunes of both companies over several years.

Released on $9m bail last month, he has denied the charges, calling them "meritless" and saying he was the victim of a boardroom coup.

On Wednesday, Renault piled pressure on the 64-year-old when it accused him of "violations of the group's ethical principles".

The French carmaker said it would stop Mr Ghosn's pension, thought to be worth €765,000 (£653,000) a year, adding that it reserved the right to bring action against him in the courts.

It was the first time Renault has publicly criticised its former star executive.

Renault had initially questioned Nissan's allegations, but carried out its own internal inquiry.

The carmaker said the investigation had uncovered "serious deficiencies" over expenses incurred at the Renault-Nissan Dutch subsidiary RNBV.

Renault said it had also "informed the French judicial authorities of potential issues concerning payments made to one of Renault's distributors in the Middle East".

The company added: "Renault also reserves the right to bring action before French courts, as and when more specific information involving breaches of Renault's interests becomes available."

On Wednesday, Mr Ghosn took to Twitter with an announcement that he planned to hold a news conference next week.

"I'm getting ready to tell the truth about what's happening. Press conference on Thursday, April 11," the 64-year-old tweeted from the @carlosghosn account on Twitter,

The account was created this month. It was the sole tweet, posted in Japanese and English.

Although Mr Ghosn is under strict bail terms - including a ban on using the internet - his lawyer, Junichiro Hironaka, told reporters the tweet did not violate those terms.

However, with the re-arrest, that press conference is now in doubt.

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