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Key Dates In The Carlos Ghosn Saga

Key Dates In The Carlos Ghosn Saga

Thursday, 30 September, 2021 - 05:00
Former Nissan chairman Carlos Ghosn is a fugitive in Lebanon ANWAR AMRO via AFP

From his shock detention to an audacious escape from Japan, the rollercoaster saga of former Nissan boss Carlos Ghosn has grabbed headlines around the world.

As Japanese prosecutors seek a two-year jail sentence for Ghosn's aide Greg Kelly, here are the key dates to know:

Ghosn and his aide Greg Kelly are arrested on suspicion of financial misconduct on November 19, after arriving in Tokyo on separate private planes.

They are accused of devising a scheme to under-report the salary of Ghosn, then Nissan chief and head of an alliance between Renault, Nissan and Mitsubishi Motors.

The pair deny wrongdoing. Ghosn is swiftly removed from his role at all three firms in a stunning fall from grace for one of the world's best-known businessmen.

Ghosn and Kelly are charged with under-reporting Ghosn's salary between 2010 and 2015, then rearrested on allegations of under-reporting up to 2018.

In December, Ghosn is arrested again on fresh allegations that he transferred losses from personal financial investments to Nissan.

His detention -- in conditions far removed from his flashy lifestyle -- is extended, according to AFP.

Ghosn attends his first court hearing in January, insisting the accusations are "meritless and unsubstantiated".

His first bail request is denied, and two new charges of financial misconduct are filed against him.

The tycoon tells AFP from prison that his detention would "not be normal in any other democracy".

In March, the court approves Ghosn's third request for bail, set at one billion yen ($9 million).

Ghosn is rearrested in a dawn raid of his Tokyo apartment in April.

Authorities hit him with a charge of aggravated breach of trust, alleging he siphoned money for personal ends from cash transferred from Nissan to a dealership in Oman.

The court grants Ghosn a second bail, but he is banned from leaving Japan and requires court permission to see his wife.

Nissan CEO Hiroto Saikawa resigns amid allegations that he also padded his salary. He denies wrongdoing but apologizes.

Meanwhile, Ghosn and Nissan are accused by US securities regulators of hiding more than $140 million in his expected retirement income from investors.

Ghosn gives authorities the slip -- hiding in an audio equipment case to flee on a private plane to Lebanon, which has no extradition treaty with Japan.

A week later, Ghosn says Nissan colluded with prosecutors to have him arrested because he wanted to deepen the Japanese firm's alliance with Renault.

He says he fled because he did not believe he would get a fair trial.

Two men accused of helping Ghosn flee Japan, former US special forces member Michael Taylor and his son Peter, are extradited from the United States and go on trial in Tokyo.

They apologize for their role in the escape and are sentenced to 20 months' jail time for Peter and two years for Michael.

Japanese prosecutors seek a two-year jail sentence for Kelly on charges of under-reporting Ghosn's compensation, a year after the trial began in September 2020.

"Kelly was behind the efforts to hide Ghosn's income," they said in their statement. "It was a role only Kelly, who had deep trust from Ghosn, could fulfil."

The American lawyer denies wrongdoing. Prosecutors also demand that Nissan, on trial alongside Kelly, be fined 200 million yen ($1.8 million).

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