Carlos Ghosn claims he has suffered financial and reputational damage as a result of his dismissal and arrest
The former head of Nissan Motor Corporation, Carlos Ghosn, has filed a $1 billion lawsuit against the Japanese automaker, claiming that his dismissal in 2018 and subsequent arrest caused “deep damage” to his finances and reputation.
The lawsuit was submitted on May 18 to the public prosecutor in the Court of Cassation in Lebanon, where the former auto executive has lived since his daring escape from Japan in late 2019. The news was reported by Bloomberg on Monday, and was later confirmed by Lebanese officials.
According to Bloomberg, Ghosn asserted in the lawsuit that “the serious and sensitive accusations will linger in people’s minds for years,” meaning that he will “suffer from them for the remainder of his life, as they have persistent and lingering impacts, even if based on mere suspicion.”
Ghosn is seeking $588 million in lost compensation and costs, along with $500 million in punitive damages. Lebanon’s public prosecutor has reportedly set a hearing for September. A spokesperson for Nissan told Bloomberg that the carmaker had neither received the lawsuit nor was aware of it.
Ghosn, who led the Nissan-Renault automaking alliance for over two decades, was arrested in Tokyo in 2018. The businessman was accused of hiding his income and enriching himself through payments to dealerships in other countries.
The executive managed to make a daring escape from Japan while out on bail. A team lead by former US Army Green Berets smuggled Ghosn through security at Kansai International Airport in an audio-equipment box, and onto a private jet headed for Istanbul.
After later arriving in Lebanon, Ghosn claimed he was escaping a “rigged” justice system in Japan and said he intended to clear his name.
Ghosn’s lawsuit also makes claims against at least a dozen Nissan executives. They include Hari Nada, who is alleged to be one of the key instigators of the plot to oust Ghosn, and Toshiaki Onuma, a manager in the CEO’s office, who along with Nada, allegedly agreed to cooperate with Japanese prosecutors to avoid prosecution.
Claims were also filed against Hidetoshi Imazu and Hitoshi Kawaguchi, two senior Nissan managers with early involvement in the automaker’s actions against Ghosn, and Masakazu Toyoda and Motoo Nagai, two of the company’s board members.
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June 21, 2023 at 03:40PM