Nissan scandal: Tokyo court determines Carlos Ghosn main culprit
Tokyo District Court has determined fugitive former Nissan Motor chairman Carlos Ghosn as the main culprit in the scandal involving the Japanese auto manufacturer. The court has blamed Ghosn for greed and the automaker's weak governance for the high profile scandal, which rocked the global auto industry. Ghosn has been accused of hiding his earnings in key securities reports. He along with former Nissan executive Greg Kelly was accused of underreporting Carlos Ghosn's remuneration by around $79 million in the financial reports between fiscal 2010-2017. The court has fined Nissan 200 million yen for the scam, reports Nikkei.
Carlos Ghosn has become a fugitive face in the automotive world from a famed leader when the Nissan scandal came to light. Also, the scandal was hyped further when Ghosn fled Japan in 2019, after being arrested with Kelly in November 2018. Ghosn escaped Japan while under house arrest in December 2019 and made his way into Lebanon. He, however, continues to deny any wrongdoings.
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He called the judgement a save-face verdict, reports AP. Ghosn reportedly said that the story is far from finished, adding that justice is far from rendered.
The trial was focused on three issues - whether Ghosn received unpaid compensation, whether Ghosn and Kelly's actions amounted to false reporting, whether the two of them conspired together.
The judge of the trial reportedly said that the misconduct at Nissan was driven by Ghosn's greed and self-interest. "The misconduct by a globally renowned executive shocked not just the business sector, but society at large as well," he said.
The judge also reportedly blamed Nissan for its corporate culture that took shape under the former chairman's leadership. The court criticized other Nissan executives for failing to properly monitor Carlos Ghosn, the report claims. As the court has ruled, the automaker only has itself to blame for the blow to its reputation over the scandal.
Nissan has said that it is currently reviewing the ruling and it would consider the next steps after deliberation.