Japan prosecutors reportedly consider bringing case against Nissan after Ghosn arrest

  • Tokyo District Court has decided that Nissan Motor Chairman Carlos Ghosn and Representative Director Greg Kelly will be detained for 10 days, Kyodo News reported on Wednesday.
Carlos Ghosn, then-Chairman and CEO of the Renault-Nissan Alliance, speaks during a news conference in Paris, France, September 15, 2017.
Philippe Wojazer | Reuters
Carlos Ghosn, then-Chairman and CEO of the Renault-Nissan Alliance, speaks during a news conference in Paris, France, September 15, 2017.

Japanese prosecutors are considering bringing a case against Nissan Motor after Chairman Carlos Ghosn's arrest on suspicion of financial misconduct, the Asahi Shimbun daily said on Wednesday.

Ghosn, one of the global car industry's best-known leaders, was arrested on Monday after Nissan's internal investigations found he had allegedly engaged in years of wrongdoing, including personal use of company money and under-reporting earnings. The Japanese company plans to remove him as chairman on Thursday.

Prosecutors said Ghosn and Representative Director Greg Kelly conspired to understate Ghosn's compensation over five years starting in fiscal 2010 as being about half of the actual 10 billion yen ($88.65 million).

The Asahi quoted unnamed sources as saying that the mis-stating meant the company also bore responsibility and that prosecutors were eyeing the possibility of putting together a case against it.

Prosecutors were not immediately able to comment. Nissan declined to comment on the report.

There has been no comment from Ghosn or Kelly on any of the allegations against them, including a report in Japan's Nikkei business daily on Tuesday that Ghosn had received share price-linked compensation of about 4 billion yen over a five-year period to March 2015 but that it went unreported in Nissan's financial reports.

Reuters could not contact Ghosn or Kelly for comment.

Ghosn is also chairman and chief executive of Nissan's French partner Renault, and chairman of Japan's Mitsubishi Motors, the third partner in the alliance.

Renault on Tuesday tapped its chief operating officer and a senior board member to fill in for Ghosn, but the board refrained from firing him while awaiting for detail on the allegations - a decision that could buy more time for an accelerated, permanent succession process.

Shares in Nissan rose 0.6 percent on Wednesday after falling nearly 6 percent a day earlier.

Separately, the Tokyo District Court has decided that Ghosn and Kelly will be detained for 10 days, Kyodo News reported on Wednesday.