Nissan seeks to block disgraced chairman from Rio apartment

Nissan has petitioned a court in Brazil to block sacked chairman Carlos Ghosn from a company apartment in Rio de Janeiro. The former high-flying executive is being investigated for alleged financial misconduct.

The Nissan Motor Company said on Sunday it was looking to block its former chairman Carlos Ghosn from entering a company-owned apartment in the Brazilian city of Rio de Janeiro. The Japanese automaker said it fears the fired executive — who is being detained in Tokyo — may remove or destroy evidence. 

"Nissan […] is working to prevent the destruction of any potential evidence that could occur by allowing access to residences in question," a Nissan spokesman said in a statement to the Reuters news agency. A lower court had granted Ghosn access to the property in Rio's Copacabana neighborhood. Nissan is now petitioning a superior court. 

Brazilian-born Ghosn has been held without charge in the Japanese capital since his November 19 arrest on suspicion of violating financial regulations. His maximum detention period of 23 days ends on Monday, when prosecutors must charge him, release him, or arrest him over additional allegations.

Ghosn's release is unlikely as prosecutors are expected to further arrest him and a suspected co-conspirator, Greg Kelly, beginning a second detention period of up to 23 days. Re-arresting suspects over slightly different allegations is common practice in Japan because it allows prosecutors to hold suspects while they continue their investigations.

Read more: Nissan shares tumble after chairman's arrest 

Scandal-ridden bosses — how the mighty keep falling

Nissan boss Ghosn's affairs scrutinized

Nissan Motor chairman Carlos Ghosn was arrested in November 2018 and subsequently charged with falsifying financial reports and breach of trust. He led a remarkable turnaround at the Japanese automaker, rescuing it from bankruptcy. An investigation continues into whether he under-reported his salary by 5 billion yen (€39 million $44.5 million) over five years from 2011.

Scandal-ridden bosses — how the mighty keep falling

VW boss takes the rap for Dieselgate

Ex-Volkswagen CEO Martin Winterkorn resigned in 2015 in the midst of the Dieselgate scandal. The automaker was found to have lowered the emissions of its diesel-engine cars during environmental tests. VW set aside €27 billion to pay fines, buybacks and compensation Winterkorn has been charged in the US with fraud and conspiracy, but Germany does not allow the extradition of its nationals.

Scandal-ridden bosses — how the mighty keep falling

Corruption shame blighted Siemens CEO

In 2007, Siemens chairman Heinrich von Pierer stepped down following a corruption scandal during his time as CEO. During the investigation it emerged that Siemens had created a system of slush funds and fictitious consultancy contracts, while also paying huge bribes, totaling at least €1.3 billion euros to win foreign contracts. Pierer later agreed to pay €5 million in damages to the firm.

Scandal-ridden bosses — how the mighty keep falling

Weinstein's notorious casting couch

Once-powerful movie titan, Harvey Weinstein, has been accused by dozens of women of sexual misconduct ranging from harassment to rape. He is out on bail and has pleaded not guilty in New York to six counts reportedly committed against three women. The accusations against him spurred the #MeToo movement, where women worldwide have spoken up against sexual harassment and assault.

Scandal-ridden bosses — how the mighty keep falling

Advertising guru accused of misconduct

Sir Martin Sorrell, the founder of the global advertising powerhouse WPP, stepped down in April after 33 years. He denied accusations of personal misconduct and misuse of company assets. The Wall Street Journal alleged Sorrell had paid a sex worker on company expenses, which he responded were “scurrilous and salacious" claims.

Scandal-ridden bosses — how the mighty keep falling

Startup bad boy leaves under a cloud

Uber CEO Travis Kalanick resigned from his position in July 2017 after heavy pressure from several major investors in the San Francisco-based ride-hailing company. Concerns were raised about Kalanick's management style, including allegations of sexual harassment and discrimination. Under his watch, the firm's ruthless reputation has also been criticized by regulators. Author: Nik Martin

The allegations

Ghosn stands accused of conspiring with Kelly, Nissan's representative director, to underreport by about 50 percent his 10 billion yen ($88 million, €77 million) remuneration. Both men are likely to be charged on the same day, financial newspaper The Nikkei reported on Friday. Japanese media reported they have denied the allegations.

Ghosn seems prepared to fight out his case and has asked for thriller books whilst in detention, according to Brazilian consul general, Joao de Mendonca Lima Neto. He is one of the few visitors Ghosn has been allowed to see under Japan's strict rules, and said Ghosn was healthy and holding up well.

"My impression is that he is a strong man in the sense that he will fight this out properly. He doesn't look worried," Mendonca told the Associated Press news agency last week at Brazil's consulate in Tokyo.

Meanwhile, Nissan on Friday announced plans to recall about 150,000 vehicles due to improper tests on new units, dealing a fresh blow to the car giant.

Now live
01:38 mins.
Business | 22.11.2018

Carlos Ghosn ousted as chairman of Nissan

kw/jlw (AP, Reuters) 

Related Subjects

Every evening at 1830 UTC, DW's editors send out a selection of the day's hard news and quality feature journalism. You can sign up to receive it directly here.