Nissan seeks to block disgraced chairman from Rio apartment | News | DW | 09.12.2018
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Nissan seeks to block disgraced chairman from Rio apartment

Nissan has petitioned a court in Brazil to block sacked chairman Carlos Ghosn from a company apartment in Rio de Janeiro. The former high-flying executive is being investigated for alleged financial misconduct.

The Nissan Motor Company said on Sunday it was looking to block its former chairman Carlos Ghosn from entering a company-owned apartment in the Brazilian city of Rio de Janeiro. The Japanese automaker said it fears the fired executive — who is being detained in Tokyo — may remove or destroy evidence. 

"Nissan […] is working to prevent the destruction of any potential evidence that could occur by allowing access to residences in question," a Nissan spokesman said in a statement to the Reuters news agency. A lower court had granted Ghosn access to the property in Rio's Copacabana neighborhood. Nissan is now petitioning a superior court. 

Brazilian-born Ghosn has been held without charge in the Japanese capital since his November 19 arrest on suspicion of violating financial regulations. His maximum detention period of 23 days ends on Monday, when prosecutors must charge him, release him, or arrest him over additional allegations.

Ghosn's release is unlikely as prosecutors are expected to further arrest him and a suspected co-conspirator, Greg Kelly, beginning a second detention period of up to 23 days. Re-arresting suspects over slightly different allegations is common practice in Japan because it allows prosecutors to hold suspects while they continue their investigations.

Read more: Nissan shares tumble after chairman's arrest 

The allegations

Ghosn stands accused of conspiring with Kelly, Nissan's representative director, to underreport by about 50 percent his 10 billion yen ($88 million, €77 million) remuneration. Both men are likely to be charged on the same day, financial newspaper The Nikkei reported on Friday. Japanese media reported they have denied the allegations.

Ghosn seems prepared to fight out his case and has asked for thriller books whilst in detention, according to Brazilian consul general, Joao de Mendonca Lima Neto. He is one of the few visitors Ghosn has been allowed to see under Japan's strict rules, and said Ghosn was healthy and holding up well.

"My impression is that he is a strong man in the sense that he will fight this out properly. He doesn't look worried," Mendonca told the Associated Press news agency last week at Brazil's consulate in Tokyo.

Meanwhile, Nissan on Friday announced plans to recall about 150,000 vehicles due to improper tests on new units, dealing a fresh blow to the car giant.

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kw/jlw (AP, Reuters) 

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