Boulogne-Billancourt, Yokohama – The car manufacturer Carlos Ghosn arrested in Japan has to look for new defenders. Motonari Otsuru, a former state lawyer, and his colleague Masato Oshikubo submitted their resignation as Ghosn lawyers at the Tokyo District Court on Wednesday. Whether they abandoned their duties on their own initiative or were dismissed by Ghosn remained unclear.
Ghosn was arrested three months ago and indicted in Tokyo for violating the requirements of the fair. Moreover, according to the prosecutors, the 64-year-old would have transferred private investment losses to the Nissan Group.
The ex-president must, after his retirement from Renault, give up a certain compensation payment in tens of millions. Ghosn will not receive payment corresponding to two full and variable salaries per year, according to the board of directors of the automaker in Boulogne-Billancourt, near Paris.
Competition clause as a reason for the decision
Background of the possible compensation is a so-called non-competition clause – according to news agency AFP, it forbids Ghosn to work for a competitor in a period of two years. The possible amount was not mentioned on request.
In addition, Ghosn loses the right to eventually acquire shares that he has received in previous years. The manager, who resigned at the end of January, was not present at Renault, the company said.
The ex-manager will therefore lose the right to stock options for four years until 2018. The stock options are currently worth 26 million euros, according to documents that the Reuters news agency could see. Compensation for a non-competition clause would be two annual salaries of four to five million euros in total. Ghosn has been held in Tokyo since November. He is accused of financial misconduct by the Renault partner Nissan. He should not have fully disclosed his income according to the law. Ghosn denies the accusations.
The French Minister of Economy Bruno Le Maire has demanded that Ghosn's allowance be reduced as much as possible. The state has a 15 percent stake in Renault. "We were always paying too much," said one concerned. The question is not whether Ghosn is guilty or not. "It's about ethics and decency."
Ghosn protested against his innocence in court
In the courtroom the top manager had protested his innocence and suspected a plot against him. His former lawyer Otsuru recently said that it would take months before a lawsuit against the previously acclaimed industrialist would follow. He had repeatedly filed a petition for release on bail, but the court refused.
Ghosn is an architect of the automotive alliance of Renault and the Japanese manufacturers Nissan and Mitsubishi. The Japanese had fired him shortly after the arrest. (APA / dpa)