Court turns down Ghosn’s request to attend Nissan board meeting on Tuesday

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By Aina Tanaka and Maki Shiraki

A Tokyo court on Monday denied ousted Nissan boss Carlos Ghosn’s request to attend a board meeting this week, broadcaster NHK reported, blocking what would have been a dramatic face off with the colleagues he has accused of fomenting a coup.

Ghosn, released last week on one billion yen bail after spending 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 earlier.

Further details of the reported denial were not immediately available. Hironaka was scheduled to hold another briefing for reporters later on Monday.

Attendance would have offered Ghosn the first opportunity to speak with colleagues since his arrest in November. He faces charges of under-reporting his salary by about $82 million over nearly a decade – charges he has called “meritless”.

The board meeting coincides with a plan by Nissan Motor Co and alliance partners Renault SA and Mitsubishi Motors Corp to set up a joint board meeting structure, people with direct knowledge of the matter told Reuters.

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

If his request 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.

© (c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2019.

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