Fugitive former Nissan chairman declares war

Earlier this week during an interview with Reuters, Carlos Ghosn said he would fight "to the end" in a $1 billion lawsuit that the former Nissan chairperson has brought against the Japanese auto manufacturer.

Carlos Ghosn

Ghosn's lawsuit, which he filed in Lebanon, includes allegations of defamation, slander, libel and the fabrication of material evidence by Nissan as well as 12 individuals and two other firms.

"We have a long battle in front of us. We are going to fight it to the end," Carlos told Reuters in Lebanon, where he has lived since fleeing Japan hidden in a box aboard a private jet.

His lawsuit seeks $588 million in lost remuneration and another $500 million in moral damage.

"What I am asking for is only a little compensation compared to what they've done to me," the 69-year-old said during the interview in Beirut.

Once a global car industry titan, Carlos was arrested in Japan in late 2018 and charged with under-reporting earnings, breach of trust and misappropriation of company funds.

He denied the charges and said his detention was part of a plot against him by Nissan.

Carlos, who fled Japan in December 2019 as he awaited trial and after arriving in his childhood home of Lebanon, said he was escaping a "rigged" justice system and would clear his name.

Tokyo prosecutors have previously said Carlos’s allegations of a conspiracy were false.

Asked whether he would expand his legal action to include Renault, part of the alliance with Nissan which he masterminded, he said his focus was currently on Nissan.

Carlos Ghosn, who holds French, Lebanese and Brazilian citizenships, said he has not left Lebanon since 2019 because of an Interpol Red Notice issued by Japan.

A judicial source in Lebanon said the prosecutor has scheduled a court session on September 18 to begin proceedings.

Carlos said documents had been taken from his home in Lebanon under false pretences on the day of his arrest in Japan and shared with Japanese authorities.

A Nissan spokesperson said the company would not be commenting.

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