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Nissan's Ghosn crisis

Nissan sues Carlos Ghosn for $90m in damages

Automaker accuses fugitive ex-boss of 'corrupt practices over many years'

Former Nissan Chairman Carlos Ghosn speaks to reporters in Beirut on Jan. 8, after his escape from Japan.    © Reuters

TOKYO (Kyodo) -- Nissan Motor Co. said Wednesday it has filed a 10 billion yen ($90 million) damages suit against former Chairman Carlos Ghosn over "his corrupt practices," staging a face-off with the fugitive former boss who has accused the automaker of "conspiracy" to oust him.

Nissan said the lawsuit at the Yokohama District Court is aimed at holding Ghosn accountable for "his corrupt practices over many years" such as "fraudulent payments made to or by Ghosn," including private use of company jets and use of overseas residential property without paying rent.

Nissan said it has intensified its campaign to recover damages from Ghosn following his escape in late December to Lebanon from Japan, where he was on bail awaiting trial on charges of underreporting of remuneration at the automaker and misuse of its funds.

As Japan does not have an extradition treaty with Lebanon, Ghosn is unlikely to return to Japan.

Ghosn has denied all allegations against him and said they are a result of "conspiracy" between Nissan and Japanese prosecutors to take him down.

He has argued that the automaker staged a coup to stop him from seeking a merger with alliance partner and largest shareholder Renault SA of France.

In a statement, Nissan also said the size of the damages it claims is expected to increase as it seeks to recover fines it will pay to the Japanese Financial Services Agency as well as penalties likely to be imposed on the company in the upcoming trial related to Ghosn's conduct.

The automaker, which ousted Ghosn from the post of chairman shortly after his initial arrest in November 2018, also said it could pursue separate legal action over "groundless and defamatory remarks made by Ghosn" through the media since his escape to Lebanon.

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