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France News

Carlos Ghosn case: key dates

Published on January 10, 2019

Here are some key dates since former Nissan boss Carlos Ghosn was arrested out of the blue in November, stunning Japan and the business world.

– November 19: Shock arrest –

Investigators from the Tokyo District Public Prosecutors Office arrest Ghosn just after his private jet touches down at Haneda Airport.

His right-hand man and close aide Greg Kelly is also arrested.

Accused of financial misconduct, including under-reporting Ghosn’s salary between 2010 and 2015, they are detained for investigation for a period that is extended twice to December 10.

Both deny wrongdoing.

Prosecutors raid Nissan’s headquarters in Yokohama and Ghosn’s luxury Tokyo apartment.

That evening Nissan chief executive officer Hiroto Saikawa says the company had uncovered years of financial misconduct, including under-reporting of income and inappropriate personal use of company assets.

“Too much authority was given to one person in terms of governance,” he tells reporters, referring to “a dark side of the Ghosn era”.

– November 20: Renault names interim boss –

After an emergency board meeting, French car giant Renault says Thierry Bollore will take over with Ghosn “temporarily incapacitated” following his arrest.

Bollore, previously the chief operating officer, is appointed deputy CEO with the “same powers” as Ghosn.

Days later, Renault launches an internal audit into Ghosn’s pay.

– November 22: Fired by Nissan –

Nissan’s board votes unanimously to “discharge” Ghosn as chairman.

In Paris, the French and Japanese finance ministers, Bruno Le Maire and Hiroshige Seko, reiterate “strong support” for maintaining the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi alliance.

– November 26: Fired by Mitsubishi –

Mitsubishi Motors executives, meeting in Tokyo, vote unanimously to oust Ghosn as chairman.

– November 29: Alliance affirms unity –

Automakers Renault, Nissan and Mitsubishi Motors reaffirm their commitment to their alliance in the first meeting of company leaders since Ghosn’s arrest.

Ghosn had been seen as the glue binding together the complex three-way structure that makes up the world’s top-selling auto company.

– December 10: Charges and re-arrest –

Ghosn is formally charged on the initial allegations of under-reporting his salary between 2010 and 2015, with prosecutors also re-arresting him on allegations of further under-reporting in the last three years, according to local media.

The new allegations restart the clock on his detention, allowing prosecutors to hold him for another 22 days.

– December 21: New allegations –

Prosecutors re-arrest Ghosn over fresh allegations that he transferred losses from personal financial investments to Nissan, apparently dashing his hopes of early release.

His detention is subsequently prolonged twice, extending until January 11.

Greg Kelly successfully wins bail on December 25 on the condition he stays in Japan.

– January 8: First public appearance since arrest –

Ghosn attends a hearing at the Tokyo District Court to make his first public appearance since his arrest. He says in a statement he has been “wrongly accused and unfairly detained”.

But the judge says the ongoing detention is justified because he poses a flight risk and could tamper with evidence.

The next day the court rejects another bid to end the detention.

– January 10: Fever –

Japanese media reports Ghosn is suffering from a high fever and is unable to meet investigators for questioning or attend meetings with his lawyers.

Renault’s board says an ongoing audit into executive pay had found no sign of fraud in the last two years but added the audit would continue with previous years scrutinised as it progresses.