One of Japan’s most wanted fugitives, former Nissan chairman Carlos Ghosn has been ordered by a Dutch court to repay $6.1 million to a Dutch joint venture set up by Nissan and Mitsubishi, effectively rejecting his request for an $18 million to compensate what he calls an illegal dismissal.

Ghosn led the Renault-Nissan Alliance for nearly two decades before investigators stormed his private jet and arrested him in Tokyo in November 2018 on suspicion of charges of financial misconduct. The alliance, which Mitsubishi also joined, was at one time the world’s second largest automaker by volume with Ghosn as its flamboyant figurehead.

In an escape saga worthy of a Hollywood blockbuster, Ghosn alluded the country’s authorities in late December 2019 to fly from Japan to Lebanon aboard a private jet, allegedly concealed in a music case. Having spent nearly a year in detention, Ghosn was out on bail when he slipped passed authorities and fled the country.

The Dutch court said that Ghosn was not entitled to fair compensation, transitional compensation or arrears, as no employment contract has existed between him and the company.

Ghosn has asked the court in Amsterdam to overturn his dismissal after his initial arrest by a Dutch company which formed part of the alliance. Ghosn says that he was wrongfully sacked by Nissan-Mitsubishi BV and that he is owed $18 million in compensation due to lost wages and severance payments. The court however, established that Ghosn did not have a valid contract with the joint venture, and ordered him to repay the equivalent of $6.1 million. A spokesman for Ghosn says he would appeal the verdict so he can give evidence. 

“As today’s verdict has been rendered without hearing Mr Ghosn and other witnesses, the defense team will now take the case to the court of appeal where Mr Ghosn’s right to witness evidence will be granted,” the spokesman commented. “We are satisfied with the court verdict which ruled out any bad faith from Mr Ghosn.”

A Nissan spokesperson added that the company is pleased that the court has dismissed Ghosn’s unfounded claims and NMBV and ordered him to reply the large sums which he received unlawfully.”



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