Sat, Dec 08, 2018 - Page 10 News List

Nissan to also be indicted for fraud: report

AFP, TOKYO

A portrait of former Nissan Motor Co chairman Carlos Ghosn is displayed on a billboard in his support in Beirut on Thursday.

Photo: AFP

Tokyo prosecutors have decided to indict Nissan Motor Co as well as its former chairman, Carlos Ghosn, and another executive as early as next week over alleged financial misconduct, a report said yesterday.

The report came amid speculation that Ghosn and right-hand man Greg Kelly would face new allegations related to underreporting of the auto titan’s compensation.

The pair were arrested on Nov. 19 on suspicion of conspiring to understate Ghosn’s pay by about ¥5 billion (US$44.3 million) in official filings in the five years up to March 2015.

The Nikkei reported that Ghosn and Kelly would likely be indicted on those allegations as soon as Monday, when their current detention period expires.

Prosecutors had decided that Nissan was also responsible for the alleged financial wrongdoing and would file charges against the firm, the newspaper said.

Nissan CEO Hiroto Saikawa signed documents discussing payment and employment for Ghosn after his term as chairman, it said.

However, prosecutors reportedly doubt Saikawa was involved in the underreporting, although he might face questions about failing to correct the false reports, even though he apparently had opportunities to do so, the Nikkei said.

Under Japanese law, prosecutors can hold suspects for up to 22 days while probing a single allegation.

However, they can seek an additional 22 days of detention for each new accusation against a suspect.

Reports suggested that Ghosn and Kelly could face a new accusation related to underreporting of the former chairman’s compensation by another ¥4 billion over the past three years.

The new accusation is also expected to be announced next week.

Neither Ghosn nor Kelly have yet been officially charged and they deny any wrongdoing.

Japanese prosecutors said that they could not comment on the report and Nissan said only that it was cooperating with prosecutors.

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