TOKYO (Reuters) – Tokyo prosecutors plan to indict former Nissan Motor Co Ltd (7201.T) Chairman Carlos Ghosn on Monday for financial misconduct, the Nikkei business daily reported, ratcheting up their case against the auto tycoon.
FILE PHOTO – Carlos Ghosn, chairman and CEO of the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance, attends the Tomorrow In Motion event on the eve of press day at the Paris Auto Show, in Paris, France, October 1, 2018. REUTERS/Regis Duvignau
Prosecutors also plan to indict on the same day former representative director Greg Kelly as well as the automaker itself, the Nikkei said on Friday, citing unidentified sources.
The Nov. 19 arrest of Ghosn and Kelly shook the foundations of the Renault-Nissan alliance and stunned the auto industry, where Ghosn is renowned for turning around the French and Japanese carmakers. Ghosn remains chairman and chief executive of Renault SA (RENA.PA).
Ghosn and Kelly’s detention period runs until Monday, when prosecutors must decide to indict, release, or rearrest them on new claims.
The Nikkei said the two former executives and Nissan would likely be indicted over the alleged underreporting of salaries in five annual reports through the business year that ended in March 2015.
Ghosn and Kelly are also likely to be rearrested on suspicion of making misstatements in reports for the subsequent three business years, the newspaper reported.
The Nikkei said making false statements in an annual report was a crime for which not just the individuals involved but also companies can be held accountable, and prosecutors wanted to charge Nissan for not preventing the alleged crime.
Representatives for the Tokyo District Public Prosecutor’s Office and Nissan declined to comment.
Ghosn was arrested for allegedly conspiring to understate his income by about half of the actual 10 billion yen ($88.66 million) over five years from 2010. Kelly was accused of assisting.
Ghosn and Kelly have not made any statement through their lawyers, but Japanese media reported that they have denied the allegations.
($1 = 112.7900 yen)
Reporting by Chris Gallagher; Additional reporting by Kaori Kaneko and Kiyoshi Takenaka; Editing by Darren Schuettler and Christopher Cushing