Ghosn Senior Executive Resigns From Nissan a Week After Going on Leave

Nissan executive Munoz resigns after Ghosn's arrest

Nissan executive Munoz resigns after Ghosn's arrest

There have been other recent departures from Nissan, but Nissan has denied they were related to Ghosn's case.

Ghosn, arrested November 19, was earlier charged with falsifying financial reports in underreporting his income by about 5 billion yen ($44 million) over five years through 2015.

Nissan Motor Co Ltd has terminated the lease to ex-Chairman Carlos Ghosn's luxury apartment in Tokyo.

"I have a genuine love and appreciation for Nissan", Ghosn told the court. "We know the first destination of the transfer, but there are cases where we can not track the movement of the money after that".

The breach of trust charge alleges that 1.8 billion yen ($16.7 million) in damage was caused to Nissan through transactions made by Ghosn, and that $14.7 million was paid to the Saudi businessman. At Ghosn's direction, false expenditure names were given to the transfers, and it appears that the mastermind behind them was a foreign former executive officer close to the chairman.

Ghosn has stated that there was absolutely nothing fraudulent about these payouts. The special investigative unit is now waiting for replies to requests for cooperation made to foreign authorities, but a top official in the prosecutors' office disclosed, "Just how much evidence we will be able to gather is unknown".

In a related development, it was found on January 11 that Ghosn received roughly 1 billion yen in remuneration from a joint Nissan-Mitsubishi Motors Co. company, "Nissan-Mitsubishi B.V." set up in the Netherlands in June 2017.

A source at Renault said executives at both the French company and Nissan had received bonuses for specific tasks.

Renault has stuck by Ghosn since his arrest but faces pressure to find a successor as his jail time drags on and questions mount about executive payment schemes used by the carmaker and related companies.

According to an individual familiar with the situation, the sum of almost 1 billion yen was paid to the former chairman between April and November 2018.

"Nissan filed the criminal complaint on the basis of Ghosn's misuse of a significant amount of the company's funds".

Sepehri, an executive vice president overseeing legal and public affairs at Renault, declined to comment to AFP about the alleged payments.

The two companies and Nissan-controlled Mitsubishi Motors "emphatically reiterated" their commitment to the alliance, as executives met in Amsterdam for the first time since Ghosn's November 19 arrest over misconduct allegations.

The Renault board of directors held a special meeting Thursday night to discuss internal reviews of executive pay prompted by Ghosn's arrest.

Munoz said in a statement on LinkedIn Saturday he made the decision after serious thinking because the company was "involved in matters that have and will continue to divert its focus", referring to Ghosn's case. His lawyers can appeal in a higher court.

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