Carlos Ghosn Suggests He’s The Victim Of A Coup From Nissan

Carlos Ghosn at the Renault factory in Maubeuge northern France

Carlos Ghosn at the Renault factory in Maubeuge northern France

Mr Ghosn, who led Nissan for 19 years and rescued the company from bankruptcy before entering it into a three-way alliance with Renault and Mitsubishi, was dismissed from his position as chairman by Nissan in December following allegations of financial misconduct and underreporting his compensation - crimes that carry jail sentences of a decade or more in Japan.

Volkswagen's deliveries rose 0.9 percent to a record 10.83 million past year, including its MAN and Scania heavy trucks, the German company said earlier this month. Property purchased in Brazil and Lebanon, which Japanese media and Nissan executives touted as an extravagant example of Mr Ghosn's alleged improprieties, were approved by Nissan's legal department, and specifically an executive by the name of Hari Nada, Mr Ghosn said.

Ghosn also called accusations by both Nissan and Mitsubishi that he received almost 8 million euros in improper payment through a Dutch-based joint venture of the two automakers "a distortion of reality", and argued his luxury residences in Rio de Janeiro and Beirut were approved by Nissan's legal department.

"Nissan's investigation uncovered substantial and convincing evidence of misconduct", the company said in a statement.

The executive, once feted for his turnaround of the struggling Nissan, has been removed as chairman of the Japanese firm as well as of Mitsubishi Motors.

He told the Nikkei that there was a plan to "integrate" the three companies but insisted it was meant to ensure there would be "autonomy under one holding company".

"People translated strong leadership to dictator, to distort reality" for the "purpose of getting rid of me", he said.

He is also charged with aggravated breach of trust for having transferred to Nissan personal losses worth 1.85 billion yen from his private asset management company in 2008, and have the company pay $14.7 million to Khaled al-Juffali, a Saudi businessman who extended credit to him.

He has also come under fire for luxury houses in Rio de Janeiro and Beirut - which Nissan alleges were paid for improperly via a subsidiary. "I am not a lawyer, I don't know the interpretation of [such] facts", Ghosn said, showing his frustration over Nissan's internal investigation.

While both companies repeatedly say they are committed to the partnership, Nissan has always been unhappy about what it considers to be an outsized French role in the alliance.

Ghosn's second bail request was rejected on January 22, with prosecutors fearing that he might tamper with evidence or possibly flee.

Ghosn has been in custody since his November 19 arrest in Tokyo. In the interview, Ghosn said he isn't a flight risk, and he intends to defend himself against the charges.

It is unclear what the long-term prospect of the alliance will be if Ghosn is no longer at the helm.

When asked about his health, he said he was "doing fine".

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