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Auto industry scandal: Key dates of CEO Carlos Ghosn's arrest

2019-01-04 12:33
Carlos Ghosn ex Nissan chairman

Image: ERIC PIERMONT / AFP

Carlos Ghosn has gone from heading a powerful international auto alliance to languishing in a Tokyo detention centre on allegations of financial misconduct. Here are some key dates since his arrest:

November 19: shock arrest

Investigators from the Tokyo District Public Prosecutors Office arrest Ghosn just after his private jet touches down at Haneda Airport.

READ: Carlos Ghosn's detention extended to January 11

His right-hand man and close aide Greg Kelly is also arrested.

Accused of financial misconduct, including under-reporting Ghosn's salary between 2010 and 2015, they are detained for investigation for a period that is extended twice to 10 December.

They both deny wrongdoing.

Prosecutors raid Nissan's headquarters in the city of Yokohama and Ghosn's luxury Tokyo apartment.

That evening Nissan chief executive officer Hiroto Saikawa says the company had uncovered years of financial misconduct, including under-reporting of income and inappropriate personal use of company assets.

"Too much authority was given to one person in terms of governance," he tells reporters, referring to "a dark side of the Ghosn era".

November 20: Renault names interim boss

After an emergency board meeting, French car giant Renault says Thierry Bollore will take over with Ghosn "temporarily incapacitated" following his arrest.

Bollore, previously the chief operating officer, is appointed deputy CEO with the "same powers" as Ghosn.

Days later, Renault launches an internal audit into Ghosn's pay.

November 22: fired by Nissan

Nissan's board votes unanimously to "discharge" Ghosn as chairman.

In Paris, the French and Japanese finance ministers, Bruno Le Maire and Hiroshige Seko, reiterate "strong support" for maintaining the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi alliance.

November 26: fired by Mitsubishi

Mitsubishi Motors executives, meeting in Tokyo, voted unanimously to oust Ghosn as chairman.

November 29: alliance affirms unity

Automakers Renault, Nissan and Mitsubishi Motors reaffirm their commitment to their alliance in the first meeting of company leaders since Ghosn's arrest.

Ghosn had been seen as the glue binding together the complex three-way structure which makes up the world's top-selling auto company.

December 10: charges and re-arrest

Ghosn is formally charged on the initial allegations of under-reporting his salary between 2010 and 2015, with prosecutors also re-arresting him on allegations of further under-reporting in the last three years, according to local media.

The new allegations restart the clock on his detention, allowing prosecutors possibly to hold him for another 22 days.

December 17: Nissan fails to agree on Ghosn replacement

The board of Nissan fails to agree on a replacement for Ghosn as tensions grow in the firm's alliance with Renault.

Nissan CEO Hiroto Saikawa says a committee advising the board on the decision needs more time, while media reports suggest the indecision is in part because of open discord with French automaker Renault.

December 20: request to extend detention rejected

The Tokyo district court rejects prosecutors' request to extend Ghosn's detention, in a surprise move that meant he could have been freed on bail.

Prosecutors appealed the court decision but their appeal was also rejected.

December 21: re-arrest on new allegations

Prosecutors re-arrest Ghosn over fresh allegations that he transferred losses from personal financial investments to Nissan, apparently dashing his hopes of early release.

The fresh arrest gives prosecutors 48 hours to question him on the new matter - possibly extended beyond that.

December 31: Detention prolonged

This time, the court grants to prosecutors the right to question Ghosn further on the new allegations, extending his detention until 11 January.

January 4: Demand for a hearing

Another completely unexpected twist in the saga as Ghosn's lawyers dig out a little-used section of the Constitution to demand a hearing to explain the reasons for his detention. That hearing was set to occur on 8 January.

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