Court rejects Carlos Ghosn's request to attend Nissan board meeting

Andrew Cummings
March 12, 2019

He declined comment on whether Ghosn, who remains on Renault's board, will be allowed to attend its meetings even if he is able to leave Japan.

The new board will drive the operational co-operation between Nissan, Renault and Mitsubishi Motors and look for new ways to generate value for its respective shareholders and employees.

The two firms have since been at pains to present a united front and new Renault boss Jean-Dominique Senard will appear with Saikawa at a news conference in Tokyo on Tuesday after the Nissan board meeting.

Hoping to placate Nissan after the Ghosn fallout, Renault has also agreed to let Nissan's special committee - a panel of outsiders - select Ghosn's replacement as Nissan chairman.

Relations between Nissan and Renault are understood to be strained following the arrest of Ghosn in November 2018 on charges of financial misconduct.

The former chairman of the alliance, Carlos Ghosn, was barred from attending Tuesday's meeting.

Ghosn has said the claims of improper payments were a "distortion of reality".

At the height of his powers, Ghosn ran a three-way auto alliance between Nissan, Renault and Mitsubishi Motors that outsold all rival groups. "And the to respect people and consider them innocent as long as it has not been proven differently".

Ghosn still is one of eight members of Nissan's board.

His downfall was plotted due to "opposition and anxiety" over the plan to bring Nissan and Renault closer together, Ghosn alleged.

The MoU said that operation decisions taken by the board will be "consensus-based, further the Alliance's "win-win" approach".

Under the terms of his release, he is forbidden from contacting people who could be involved in his case, including Nissan executives likely to attend board meetings, such as CEO Hiroto Saikawa. Nissan owns 15 percent of Renault, and a 34 percent stake in Mitsubishi Motors.

He believes that the accusations against him, which he has frequently described as "meritless and unsubstantiated", should not prevent him from giving his input into a company he saved from the brink.

Ghosn has been charged with falsifying financial reports by under-reporting his income and with breach of trust.

Ghosn found himself embroiled in another legal battle on Monday when French prosecutors opened an inquiry into a party he threw at the sumptuous Palace of Versailles outside Paris in 2016.

The French automaker disclosed last month that the chateau had waived the usual €50,000 ($56,000) rental fee for the October 2016 party under a sponsorship fee signed a few months earlier.

"He thought it was free", Le Borgne said.

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