Nissan China chief Jose Munoz resigns amid broadened Ghosn probe

Nissan executive Munoz resigns after Ghosn's arrest

December 20, 2018 - Tokyo District Court rejected prosecutors' request to extend Ghosn's and Kelly's detention, leading many to believe Ghosn would be released on December 21, 2018. Renault abstained from taking action against Ghosn during this time. However, Renault remains the dominant equity partner in the alliance, sparking criticism in Japan that Nissan has had to take the back seat under Ghosn.

A source at Renault said executives at both the French company and Nissan had received bonuses for specific tasks. In a statement, Nissan stated that Munoz had "elected to resign" from the company, effective immediately.

He becomes the recent executive casualty since Nissan in November ousted Ghosn as chairman and removed representative director Greg Kelly.

The indictment brings the charges against Ghosn to three, including two counts of breaking the Financial Instruments and Exchange Act for suspected underreporting of his annual remuneration.

Ghosn appeared in court this week and said he has been wrongly accused and unfairly detained.

Additionally, the lawyer of former Nissan representative director Greg Kelly, 62, who was indicted with Ghosn on the two charges of violating the Financial Instruments and Exchange Act, said that the former executive underwent the neck surgery that he required at a hospital in Ibaraki Prefecture after being released on bail on December 25 a year ago, and has since left the hospital.

According to Ghosn's lawyer, the high fever the chairman ran on the night of January 9 has fallen.

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The company added, "Nissan does not in any way tolerate such misconduct and calls for strict penalties".

Ostensibly, bail could be denied on the grounds that as long as Ghosn continues to assert his innocence, he could flee the country or seek to destroy evidence, said Nobuo Gohara, a defense lawyer and former prosecutor who is critical of Japan's criminal justice system.

Yet Kelly was released; as a condition of his bail, he is not allowed to leave Japan. Ghosn - who has been formally arrested three times, prolonging his detention - has faced interrogation without a lawyer, and so far he has been permitted to see only diplomats or his Japanese lawyer.

Ghosn is also accused 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. It refused to provide information.

Ghosn's wife said Thursday that she is "fearful and very worried" for his health after he developed a fever in jail.

Ghosn has been indicted on two counts of under-reporting his income, and aggravated breach of trust for temporarily shifting personal investment losses worth 1.85 billion yen ($17 million) to Nissan.

The company said in a statement that it took the latest charge seriously and was strengthening governance.

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