Nissan shareholders sever last ties with ousted Ghosn

Former Nissan Motor Chairman Carlos Ghosn accompanied by his wife Carole Ghosn arrives at his place of residence in Tokyo

Nissan may claim damages against Ghosn over alleged financial misconduct, Chief Executive Hiroto Saikawa said, adding he was not yet ready to give up control of the company, as it needed to be stabilised first.

On April 4, Ghosn was rearrested by Tokyo prosecutors over new allegations of aggravated breach of trust, related to funds essentially being transferred through a Nissan dealership in Oman and back to himself, causing Nissan a loss of around 5 million US dollars, according to prosecutors.

The decision to sever ties with Mr Ghosn was made at a an extraordinary shareholders meeting held on Monday.

Shareholders also voted to approve the appointment of Renault Chairman Jean-Dominique Senard in Ghosn's place. Renault owns 43 percent of Nissan, and the two automakers are in a close alliance along with Mitsubishi.

Ghosn faces charges of financial misconduct and aggravated breach of trust over allegedly failing to report around $82 million in salary and temporarily transferring personal financial losses on to Nissan's books during the financial crisis.

This picture taken April 3, 2019 shows former Nissan Chairman Carlos Ghosn and his wife Carole leave the office of his lawyer Junichiro Hironaka in Tokyo.

"I deeply, deeply apologize for all the worries and troubles we have caused", Saikawa said.

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The move means Ghosn, who is now fighting multiple charges of financial misconduct, no longer holds a position at the company, reports Efe news. "I really regret that", 77-year-old shareholder Isamu Beppu told AFP before the meeting.

Based on the proposal and demand, Nissan plans to decide the membership of the board by a regular general shareholders' meeting to be held in June.

Ghosn has been charged with under-reporting his compensation in financial documents, and with breach of trust in having Nissan shoulder investment losses and making dubious payments to a Saudi businessman.

Their talks came a day after the Tokyo District Court ruled that Ghosn must remain in custody until at least April 14 following his re-arrest last week. He was due to speak at a news conference this week, but instead a video statement from him will be shown on Tuesday at the Foreign Correspondents' Club of Japan (FCCJ), the FCCJ said on its website. "I'm very suspicious of the situation, and most people are".

Yokohama-based Nissan, which makes the Leaf electric vehicle, March subcompact and Infiniti luxury models, was on the brink of bankruptcy when Ghosn was sent in by Renault two decades ago.

Prosecutors in Japan have tried to question Carole Ghosn and even confiscated her Lebanese passport. A date for his trial has not yet been decided. "I'm going to France... and be more useful where I can be", she said just before leaving for Paris. "We need to fulfill the task (of improving governance) and prepare the company for our next steps, and then pass the leadership baton", Saikawa told shareholders.

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