The Latest: PM Abe says Japan-French ties unshakable

The Latest: PM Abe says Japan-French ties unshakable Photo: AP

December 10, 2018 05:21 AM

TOKYO (AP) — The Latest on charges against former Nissan Motor Co. chairman Carlos Ghosn, who was arrested last month on suspicion of underreporting his income (all times local):

7 p.m.

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Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe says Japan-French relations are unshakable despite concerns over the future of Nissan Motor Co.'s alliance with Renault SA after the automaker's former chairman Carlos Ghosn was charged with underreporting millions of dollars of income.

Tokyo prosecutors on Monday charged Ghosn, another Nissan executive and Nissan itself with underreporting his income by 5 billion yen ($44 million) over five years.

Abe said in a televised news conference that Japan will promote improved corporate governance in line with global standards.

Abe said it was crucial for Nissan, Renault and alliance partner Mitsubishi Motor Co., to remain united and improve their corporate governance. Abe said he and French President Emmanuel Macron agreed on that during a recent meeting at the G-20 in Argentina.

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5:40 p.m.

A spokesman for the Tokyo prosecutors who have charged former Nissan Motor Co. chairman Carlos Ghosn with underreporting tens of millions of dollars of income says there is no plan to force the celebrity businessman to confess.

Shin Kukimoto, deputy chief prosecutor at the Tokyo District Prosecutor's Office, was responding to questions raised about the ultra-high conviction rates for those formally charged under Japan's judicial system.

Kukimoto said, "We do not have a scenario. There is no such thing, and we do not force suspects to make confessions to fit a story."

The official told reporters that Ghosn and another Nissan executive, both arrested on Nov. 19, were being held because they are flight risks. He said they were being treated "properly" during interrogations at a Tokyo detention center.

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4:55 p.m.

Nissan Motor Co. says in a statement that it is taking "extremely seriously" charges made against it, its former chairman Carlos Ghosn and another executive.

The automaker issued the statement Monday after it, Ghosn and Greg Kelly were indicted on charges of violating the Japan Financial Instruments and Exchange Act, by allegedly making false disclosures in annual securities reports.

It said, "Nissan takes this situation extremely seriously. Making false disclosures in annual securities reports greatly harms the integrity of Nissan's public disclosures in the securities markets, and the company expresses its deepest regret."

The statement said Nissan would work to improve its corporate governance and compliance, "including making accurate disclosures of corporate information."

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4:30 p.m.

Tokyo prosecutors charged Nissan's former chairman Carlos Ghosn, another executive and the automaker itself with underreporting income.

The charges imposed Monday involve allegations Ghosn's pay was underreported by about 5 billion yen ($44 million) over five years. The prosecutors had said earlier that the allegations were behind Ghosn's Nov. 19 arrest.

The prosecutors added a new set of allegations Monday against Ghosn and Greg Kelly, the other executive, of underreporting another 4 billion yen ($36 million) for more recent years. Nissan as a company was not mentioned in the latest allegations.

In Japan, a company can be charged with wrongdoing.

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4 p.m.

Japanese media say prosecutors have added to charges against Nissan's former chairman Carlos Ghosn, extending his detention following his arrest on Nov. 19.

Meanwhile, the Securities and Exchange Commission said it had filed criminal complaints against Ghosn and another Nissan executive, Greg Kelly.

A commission official said Monday that Nissan, Ghosn and Kelly were suspected of falsifying millions of dollars' worth of Ghosn's income. In Japan, a company can be charged with wrongdoing.

Kyodo News Service and other Japanese media reported Monday that prosecutors added more allegations of underreported income. The fresh allegations allow them to extend the period of Ghosn's detention.

Some kind of action by the prosecutors had been expected as the detention period allowed for the allegations disclosed earlier ends on Monday.

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2:30 p.m.

Japanese media say Tokyo prosecutors have charged Nissan former chairman Carlos Ghosn with underreporting his income. Another executive and Nissan Motor Co. also were charged.

Prosecutors would not immediately confirm the reports Monday by Kyodo News service and other media. They were due to brief media later in the day.

The prosecutors say Ghosn is suspected of underreporting his income by 5 billion yen ($44 million) over five years. In Japan, a company can be charged with wrongdoing.

Some kind of action by the prosecutors had been expected as the detention period allowed for the allegations disclosed so far ends on Monday.

Nissan executive Greg Kelly is suspected of having collaborated with Ghosn. Kelly's attorney in the U.S. says he is asserting his innocence.

Ghosn has not commented.

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(Copyright 2018 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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