Nissan shareholders dump Ghosn from board after he is re-arrested

Carlos Ghosn professes his innocence in a new video

Chairman Carlos Ghosn said in a video message released Tuesday by his lawyers that he is innocent of all charges of financial misconduct facing him and has been the victim of a conspiratorial plot.

Nissan made the decision at an extraordinary shareholders' meeting following Ghosn being ousted as chairman following his first arrest on November 19 on charges of under-reporting his remuneration for years in Nissan's securities reports.

"Nissan's internal investigation has uncovered substantial evidence of blatantly unethical conduct", company spokesman Nicholas Maxfield said when asked for comment on Ghosn's video.

Nissan shareholders voted to remove Ghosn from the board on Monday, effectively severing all ties with the former CEO and chairman. They mistook his leadership for greed and dictatorship, when he was the biggest defender of Nissan's autonomy, Ghosn said.

Last week, Tokyo prosecutors made a decision to re-arrest Ghosn - who was released on a nine million dollar bail (€8 million) - sending him back to the detention centre where he previously spent more than 100 days. Yokohama-based Nissan, which makes the Leaf electric vehicle, the March subcompact and Infiniti luxury models, was on the brink of bankruptcy when Renault sent Ghosn in to turn it around two decades ago.

Ghosn's wife also told RTL that she is ready to return to Japan to be questioned by the Tokyo District Public Prosecutor's Office.

He appeared to be saying he was the best leader for Nissan, while those behind the alleged conspiracy were failing.

"We've done many things in Nissan that I'm proud of".

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Mr Hironaka said he will appeal Ghosn's latest detention and would appeal to the supreme court about his new arrest.

Such procedures have focused much attention in the West on Japan's judicial system, which critics sometimes refer to as "hostage justice", because defendants who deny their charges are often not granted bail.

Prosecutors say the allegations that were the basis of his recent arrest are distinct from the others, while giving no details. His defence team says the allegations are related, and authorities have already seized all the documents.

The lawyer said on Tuesday that Mr. Ghosn's wife, who left Japan last week, did so out of concern for her own safety, adding she meant to ask the French government to help her husband.

She claimed that France has done nothing except for having the French ambassador to Japan accompany her when she left the country last week.

She also said that her husband had not acted alone and that others at the company knew.

"I am privileged to have three competent lawyers around me who are going to defend the case, but they don't share with me a lot of serenity about the fairness of the trial", said Ghosn.

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