Renault 'actively' looking to post-Ghosn future

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Japanese automaker Mitsubishi on Friday alleged that ousted Nissan chairman Carlos Ghosn received $8.9 million in illegal payments from a Netherlands-based joint venture between April-November 2018.

It is also considering filing for damages related to 7 million euros ($7.98 million) in compensation paid a year ago to Ghosn from a Dutch unit set up by Nissan and Mitsubishi Motors Corp, that person said condition of anonymity, adding that Nissan's internal investigation has confirmed that those payments were made without the knowledge of the unit's board.

The investigation said he received the compensation without any discussion with other board members of the joint venture.

Ghosn - once the driving force behind the Alliance of Renault, Nissan and, later, Mitsubishi sits so since the 19th century.

"In this new stage we need a new lasting leadership for Renault", he said, adding that he had "explicitly asked, as the shareholder of reference, that Renault's board of directors meet in the coming days" to choose a new CEO.

Kei Umebayashi, the lawyer who led the probe at Mitsubishi Motors, said that the testimonies during interviews with people concerned found that Ghosn created the venture for the objective of receiving illegal remuneration.

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Nissan and Mitsubishi say they consider the payment improper, and that they will take action, including the option of filing a lawsuit against Ghosn for damages.

The French government, which has stood by Mr Ghosn, is calling on the board of Renault to find a new CEO.

Tokyo prosecutors have accused Ghosn of under-reporting his income by tens of millions of dollars in documents to investors based on an understanding that he would receive them as post-retirement compensation as well as of breach of trust.

Ghosn denies the charges.

Last week, he insisted he had been "wrongly accused and unfairly detained" as he appeared publicly in court for the first time since his arrest.

The 64-year-old business leader, indicted on charges of misreporting his corporate salary and using the company's money for his own purposes, saw his request for release on bail rejected by Tokyo court on Tuesday. His lawyer, Motonari Otsuru, could not immediately be reached by telephone on Friday.

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