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Nissan's Ghosn crisis

Ghosn seeks court approval to attend Nissan board meeting

Ousted chairman wants to fulfill 'responsibility as a director'

Former Nissan Chairman Carlos Ghosn leaves his lawyer's office in Tokyo on March 6, after his release on bail. (Photo by Akira Kodaka)

TOKYO -- Former Nissan Motor Chairman Carlos Ghosn has asked the Tokyo District Court for permission to attend the automaker's board meeting scheduled for Tuesday, the embattled executive's lead attorney said on Monday morning.

The court is expected to make a decision after consulting with prosecutors.

Ghosn was released on 1 billion yen ($9 million) bail last Wednesday, after 108 days in a Tokyo detention center. He faces charges for violating Japan's financial instruments and exchange law and breach of trust.

Under the terms of his release, Ghosn is prohibited from contacting anyone involved in his case, including Nissan executives. But Ghosn, who remains a Nissan director, aims to attend the meeting to fulfill his "responsibility as a director," lawyer Junichiro Hironaka said.

Hironaka said Ghosn's desire to attend the meeting is "nothing unusual."

The prosecution, though, is likely to argue against Ghosn's attendance on the grounds that it would put pressure on the parties involved and could affect testimonies when the case goes to trial.

Ghosn was stripped of his titles of Nissan chairman and representative director in November, after he was detained aboard his private jet upon arrival in Tokyo. The carmaker plans to dismiss him and former representative director Greg Kelly, who was arrested on the same day, as directors at a special general shareholders meeting scheduled for April 8.

Ghosn may ask the court for approval to attend other board meetings as well, since he also remains a director of Mitsubishi Motors and French alliance partner Renault.

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