The French carmaker, Renault, could be facing a multi-million euro compensation claim after admitting it was wrong to sack three senior executives over spying allegations.
The trio was dismissed in January amid claims they were involved in stealing industrial secrets for a possibly a Chinese competitor.
But after being exonerated by a Paris prosecutor, Renault’s CEO appeared on national television to apologise.
“It seems that we were mistaken. This didn’t appear from nothing. It came from a certain amount of information which now appears was fabricated,” said Carlos Ghosn, Renault-Nissan chief.
“The first thing I want to say is sorry, both on my behalf and that of Renault, to Michel Balthazar, Mathieu Tenenbaum and Bertrand Rochette, as well as their families and friends. I and the management of Renault are committed to their reintegration and we will compensate them for what they’ve been through,” he added.
But the embarrassing, and potentially costly, affair is far from over. Renault now claims the case was sparked by a security chief who’s facing fraud and extortion charges.