Friday 17 January 2020 2:12 pm

Carlos Ghosn lawyers hit out at Nissan's spending accusations

Former Nissan boss Carlos Ghosn’s lawyers have rebuffed the car manufacturer’s accusations that their client spent €3.8m (£3.3m) of the firm’s money on personal expenses.

These included trips to Rio de Janeiro carnivals, dinners at the Marmottan Museum in Paris, jewellery purchased at Cartier stores and a party at the Palace of Versailles, Nissan said. 

The Japanese firm said the expenses were “unrelated to corporate purposes”.

Ghosn’s defence team called Nissan’s claims biased and one designed to taint his reputation. 

The lawyers said neither Ghosn nor his aide, Greg Kelly, another former executive who also faces criminal charges, were interviewed by Nissan. 

Kelly is accused of helping Ghosn under-report his income for personal gain. Both have the charges of financial misconduct.

The Brazilian-born businessman faced trial over allegations of financial misconduct in Japan but skipped bail and fled to Lebanon on 29 December to escape the charges. He reportedly fled the country in a musical instrument case.

Speaking at a news conference last week, the former Nissan and Renault CEO described himself as a “hostage” in the country.

He denied the charges and claimed the country’s justice system was “rigged” and failed to meet international standards. 

In response to a corporate governance report submitted by Nissan to the Tokyo Stock Exchange yesterday, Ghosn’s defence team said: “This report confirms that Nissan’s investigation was biased, lacked integrity and independence and was designed and executed for the predetermined purpose of taking out Carlos Ghosn.”

Ghosn has accused Nissan and the Japanese government of plotting to oust him in fear of undue influence from Renault in the Nissan-Renault alliance.

Renault has insisted the alliance is on track despite a drop in its share value to a six-year low earlier this week, and underwhelming sales figures today.