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Published: Monday, January 06, 2020 @ 9:31 PM
Updated: Monday, January 06, 2020 @ 9:30 PM
TOKYO — Nissan said Tuesday its former chairman, Carlos Ghosn, is still behind what it sees as “serious misconduct” found in an investigation at the Japanese automaker.
Ghosn skipped bail that was imposed during the Japanese criminal investigation against him and arrived last week in Lebanon.
In its first public statement since Ghosn left, Nissan Motor Co. reiterated its view Ghosn that misstated his compensation and diverted company assets for personal gain.
“The company will continue to take appropriate legal action to hold Ghosn accountable for the harm that his misconduct has caused to Nissan,” it said. It did not give details, however.
Ghosn has said he is innocent, and he is expected to push his account when he speaks to reporters Wednesday in Beirut.
He has said the allegations against him were trumped up by Nissan, Japanese authorities and others who wanted to block his efforts for a fuller merger between Nissan and French alliance partner Renault SA.
Confirmed details have been scant on how he was able to get out of Japan, when his passports had been seized, he was under surveillance and his bail conditions banned foreign travel.
Ghosn said in a statement last week that he wanted to escape “injustice.”
Japan's justice minister vowed Monday to strengthen border checks and review bail conditions. She also defended the justice system as upholding a person's rights and denounced his escape as an “unjustifiable" crime.
Nissan said in its statement that an investigation is ongoing in France, and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has found some wrongdoing.
Ghosn has not been charged in France or the U.S.
Nissan has seen its brand image badly tarnished, and its profits and sales are tumbling. Ghosn’s successor Hiroto Saikawa also resigned last year after financial misconduct allegations surfaced against him related to dubious income.
“Nissan will continue to do the right thing by cooperating with judicial and regulatory authorities wherever necessary,” it said.