A civil court trial opened in Yokohama, Japan, over Nissan’s damages claim against its former chairman Carlos Ghosn.
Ghosn, who has been living in Beirut since he fled Japan nearly a year ago, hired lawyer Nobuo Gohara in the 10-billion-yen ($95 million) lawsuit filed by Nissan in February.
In the lawsuit, the Japanese automaker claims that Ghosn caused it harm from various types of alleged financial wrongdoing.
“Nissan carried out a robust and thorough internal investigation that included external lawyers. The investigation concluded that Ghosn intentionally committed serious misconduct,” Nissan said.
In light of the trial’s opening, Ghosn said in a statement that the trial will prove his innocence and “that the suspicions of wrongfulness and charges held against me have absolutely no foundation.”
The former corporate has maintained his innocence from Nissan’s accusations against him, which include spending company money on personal trips, events, and houses, stressing that business-related issues could have been solved within the company.
“The current Nissan civil lawsuit is an extension to the extremely unreasonable internal investigation with sinister intent by a portion of Nissan’s senior management and the unreasonable arrests and indictments by the public prosecutors,” Ghosn said.
This trial is separate from the criminal trial that started in September, also in Ghosn’s absence, with former Nissan executive Greg Kelly, and Nissan as a company, present as the defendants.
Late in December 2019, Ghosn mysteriously left his house arrest in Japan and flew to Lebanon in a daring escape from what he called the “injustice” of the Japanese judicial system.