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Nissan's Ghosn crisis

Ghosn family and Nissan fight for access to Rio apartment

Automaker had changed locks on $4m residence to protect evidence

The luxury Rio de Janeiro apartment bought by Nissan Motor in 2011 for its now-ousted Chairman Carlos Ghosn overlooks the famed Copacabana Beach.   © Reuters

SAO PAULO, Brazil -- Nissan Motor and the family of ousted Chairman Carlos Ghosn are battling over the right to enter a luxury apartment in Rio de Janeiro bought with the automaker's money for Ghosn's use.

The residence reportedly has artwork and safes, which Nissan considers evidence of Ghosn's alleged understatement of his compensation. The Ghosn family says they should have access to personal assets.

A Brazilian court initially granted Ghosn's representatives access, but Nissan appealed the order and the appeal was upheld, local media reported. The family does not currently have access to the apartment. 

The automaker, which owns the apartment overlooking the famed Copacabana Beach, had changed the locks to keep Ghosn's family from entering, according to local media.

"Nissan has been cooperating with authorities to investigate misconduct on the part of its former chairman, and is working to prevent the destruction of any potential evidence that could occur by allowing access," a representative of the company's Brazilian subsidiary told Nikkei.

Nissan bought the apartment in 2011 for more than 500 million yen ($4.4 million at current rates) as a personal residence for the Brazilian-born Ghosn, using a subsidiary located in a tax haven.

An earlier version of this article said that the family had been granted access. We have reflected the developments.

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