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Japan court docket blocks ex-Nissan boss Ghosn from attending board assembly

15 March 2019

Renault SA and Mitsubishi Motors Corp. had been concocting a plan to set off a joint board meeting in order to discuss critical issues related to their alliance's fate in post-Ghosn era, while the carmakers could have been eyeing towards a potential integration of operations, a TV Tokyo report revealed on Sunday, the 10th of March, 2019.

Nissan, Renault and Mitsubishihave pledged a "new start" for the world's top carmaking alliance, breaking up the all-powerful chairmanship previously occupied by ousted boss Carlos Ghosn in a move created to put the three motor companies on a more equal footing.

It was a lengthy legal battle after which Ghosn will be released on Wednesday for a bail amount of 1 billion Yens, which amounts to around $9 million.

This is a "new start" for the alliance, insisted the Frenchman.

"Mr Ghosn wants to have some time to mull over what he's going to say", Junichiro Hironaka told reporters outside his Tokyo office after meeting with Ghosn throughout the day.

For his part, current Nissan boss Hiroto Saikawa said the new board represented "a true partnership on equal footing".

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Mr Ghosn also handpicked former Nissan executives Mitsuhiko Yamashita and Vincent Cobee to help him rebuild Mitsubishi after its fuel-efficiency scandal. He faces charges of under-reporting his salary at the Japanese carmaker by about $82m over almost a decade - charges he has called "meritless".

Ghosn will not hold a highly anticipated news conference until next week at the earliest and is not planning to attend Nissan's shareholder meeting next month, his lawyer said.

Also on the shareholders' agenda is the dismissal of Greg Kelly, a director who was arrested with Ghosn and accused of working with Ghosn in the alleged misconduct.

Senard also announced he would "not be seeking" to replace Ghosn as head of Nissan but would be a "clear candidate" to be vice-president of the Japanese auto giant.

Under the terms of his bail - which include giving up his three passports and having no smartphone access to the internet - he needed the court's approval to attend.

Nissan is considering naming Sadayuki Sakakibara, former chairman of the Japan Business Federation and co-chair of a Nissan government committee, as the chief of the board. French prosecutors have opened a preliminary inquiry into how he financed his 2016 wedding at the Chateau de Versailles, French media have reported. He has been in the Tokyo Detention House since his arrest. Smaller Renault bought 43 percent of Nissan ahead of the 1999 rescue.

Japan court docket blocks ex-Nissan boss Ghosn from attending board assembly