Nissan set to decide on Ghosn's dismissal as chairman after arrest

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He is suspected of breaking the Financial Instruments and Exchange Law, and the alleged offence may carry a sentence of up to 10 years, Shin Kukimoto, deputy chief prosecutor at the Tokyo District Public Prosecutors Office, told reporters Thursday.

Monday's stunning arrest of the millionaire auto tycoon, who is credited with turning around the Nissan-Renault-Mitsubishi Motors alliance, sent shockwaves through the global vehicle sector, corporate Japan and beyond.

Ghosn is being held custody in a Tokyo detention centre and has not been seen in public nor made any comments since his arrest. The seven other board members voted at the meeting, including two members from Nissan and two from Renault.

Nissan's board consists of nine members, including Ghosn and a representative director named Greg Kelly, who also was arrested Monday on suspicion he collaborated with Ghosn in false financial reporting.

French officials are clearly on edge, not least because Renault, where Ghosn remains CEO for now, appeared totally unaware that Nissan had been carrying out a months-long internal inquiry against him.

Nissan accuses Ghosn of under-reporting his income over multiple years, abusing company expenses and misusing corporate investment funds.

Nissan has confirmed Carlos Ghosn has been removed by the board as company chairman. French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said Wednesday that the partnership is set to continue and will be deepened.

The 64-year-old had shaped the alliance and was pushing for a deeper tie-up, including potentially a full Renault-Nissan merger at the French government's urging, despite strong reservations at the Japanese firm.

Nissan executives were hostile, according to the report, not least because Nissan has become the dominant player in an alliance whose two key members have headquarters almost 10 000 kilometres apart.

Kelly, 62, joined Nissan in the U.S. in 1988, and became a board member in 2012.

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Earlier this week, alliance partner Renault voted to keep him as its chief executive but appointed Thierry Bollore, the chief operating officer, as interim chief.

"This would not have been proposed if there had been any doubt and the results of the investigations have already been presented to the board members", the source told Agence France-Presse.

Mr Ghosn is accused of filing annual securities reports containing fake statements, which could mean up to 10 years in prison, or a fine of 10m yen, or both.

The future of the alliance carries significant political weight particularly in France, where the state is Renault's biggest shareholder.

On Monday, Nissan CEO Hiroto Saikawa portrayed Nissan as a victim of Ghosn's alleged misdeeds. Renault owns 43 percent of Nissan, and Nissan owns 15 percent of Renault.

The paper said Nissan had found through the investigation that Ghosn's sister had in fact been living in and managing a luxury apartment in Rio de Janeiro that the company had bought through an overseas subsidiary, but had done no advisory work for the carmaker.

Ghosn is suspected of having written emails instructing Kelly to falsify financial documents relating to his pay package, sources close to the matter said Thursday.

The Nissan executive said a reduction of Renault's stake in Nissan should be one option under consideration.

The automakers need to be like housemates rather than in a marriage, Lewis said.

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