Japan court blocks ex-Nissan boss Ghosn from attending board meeting
CGTN

A Tokyo court rejected ousted Nissan boss Carlos Ghosn's request to attend a board meeting this week, broadcaster NHK reported, denying him a seat at the table even as the carmaker looks set to bolster an alliance he built over two decades.

Ghosn, released last week on a nine million U.S. dollars bail after more than 100 days in detention, had applied to the Tokyo District Court for permission to attend Tuesday's board meeting, as per bail conditions, his lawyer Junichiro Hironaka told reporters.

But the Tokyo District Court denied the request on Monday, NHK said, stopping what would have been a dramatic face-off between Ghosn and the colleagues he has accused of fomenting a coup. Further details of the denial were not available.

Hironaka was expected to hold another briefing for reporters later in the day.

Ghosn faces charges of under-reporting his salary at Nissan by about 82 million U.S. dollars over nearly a decade – charges he has called "meritless."

The report of the court's decision came as French automaker Renault SA, Nissan's top shareholder, confirmed it was in talks with Nissan Motor and Mitsubishi Motors about setting up a new alliance body to improve their collaboration.

Former Nissan Motor Chairman Carlos Ghosn sits inside a car as he leaves his lawyer's office after being released on bail from Tokyo Detention House, in Tokyo, Japan, March 6, 2019. /Reuters Photo

Former Nissan Motor Chairman Carlos Ghosn sits inside a car as he leaves his lawyer's office after being released on bail from Tokyo Detention House, in Tokyo, Japan, March 6, 2019. /Reuters Photo

Ghosn's dramatic arrest in November has caused concerns about the future of the three-way alliance, the world's largest maker of automobiles excluding heavy trucks.

"The proposed arrangement will have no impact on the existence of the (alliance agreement) and the cross-shareholding structure, which will both remain in place," Renault said.

Joint board meeting

Nissan, Renault and Mitsubishi plan to set up a joint board meeting structure under which Renault's new chairman, Jean-Dominique Senard, is likely to take the chair, people with direct knowledge of the matter told Reuters.

That would replace Dutch-based companies currently linking Nissan and Renault and, separately, Nissan and Mitsubishi Motors, the people said.

The heads of the partners will hold a press briefing at Nissan's Yokohama headquarters on Tuesday, Nissan said.

Some at Nissan had been unhappy with Ghosn's push for a deeper tie-up, including possibly a full merger.

One of the world's best-known auto executives, Ghosn was sacked as chairman of Nissan, Renault and Mitsubishi, and resigned as chief executive of Renault after his arrest.

However, he remains on the boards of all three, given a shareholder vote is required to remove a board member.

If his request to attend the board meeting had been approved, he would have been expected to dial into the meeting via teleconference, given the conditions of his bail, according to a person familiar with Nissan's thinking.

Source(s): Reuters