Renault said to flag Ghosn's Oman payments to authorities

Renault said to flag Ghosn's Oman payments to authorities

Carlos Ghosn's lawyer on Tuesday said he did not rule out the possibility of additional charges in Japan against the ousted Nissan Motor Co boss.

But the alleged Oman connection may deepen Renault's exposure to the scandal unearthed by its Japanese partner, which has strained their 20-year-old alliance, and raises questions about governance at the French parent company.

Renault's internal investigation is ongoing.

The Renault board said it would not pay Ghosn the variable part of his pay packet for 2018, which comes on top of his fixed salary of 1 million euros ($1.13 million) for the year. Internally Mr Saikawa had argued against a full merger and that Nissan should remain independent or be the dominant force in any deeper union.

Ghosn, who was chairman of all three companies, is now awaiting trial for financial crimes after spending 108 days in Tokyo Detention House. He has denied charges and blamed a "plot" against him by Nissan executives trying to prevent closer integration with Renault. "Nissan will plead guilty and that would clearly influence the mood of the trial", said Nobuo Gohara, a lawyer who heads Gohara Compliance and Law Office, which is not involved in the Ghosn case.

In the message to Ghosn, Saikawa advises changing the alliance's structure in 2019 "rather than wait".

He was also slapped with a further charge of seeking to transfer personal investment losses to Nissan's books and then paying a Saudi contact from company funds after he stumped up collateral for Ghosn.

He was released on bail last month after almost four months of detention. The information was provided to Renault by partner Nissan Motor, the newspaper said. He had wanted to merge the two companies, which together with a third alliance partner, Mitsubishi, are the biggest maker of passenger cars in the world.

The lawyer declined comment on the reports about Renault's investigation. Mr Saikawa denied any deal-making talks, and said he was unaware of any such move by Renault.

French magazine L'Express has reported that Japanese prosecutors were investigating the possibility that Ghosn borrowed US$30 million from billionaire Bahwan, based on a document that was found in Ghosn's apartment in Japan.

In a bid to restore trust, Renault and Nissan last month unveiled a new board to govern their alliance.

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