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Carlos Ghosn's lawyers call Nissan's allegations 'biased' and claim collusion

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Carlos Ghosn's lawyers call Nissan's allegations 'biased' and claim collusion
Copyright  ASSOCIATED PRESS   -   藤尾明華
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Carlos Ghosn's legal team issued a statement on Friday denying the latest allegations by Nissan, Ghosn's former employer, against the fugitive businessman.

On Thursday, Nissan filed a new set of allegations to the Tokyo Stock Exchange against Ghosn, who skipped bail and fled to Lebanon while claiming he could not get a fair trial in Japan.

Ghosn was charged with under-reporting his future compensation and breach of trust in diverting Nissan money for personal gain. He says the compensation was never decided on or paid, and the payments were for legitimate business.

Ghosn's lawyers said that Nissan's complaints were biased and that it never questioned Ghosn about them. They added that Nissan never tried to interview Ghosn or Greg Kelly, another former executive facing charges of financial misconduct, or ``"bothered to solicit their knowledge of the facts.``"

His lawyers also complained that Latham & Watkins, which conducted the investigation, had long been Nissan's outside counsel, effectively accusing Nissan of collusion.

Nissan confirmed both were true but denied any conflict of interest. The company said it considered it inappropriate to contact Ghosn or Kelly because the company and they were co-defendants.

Ghosn's lawyers also complained that Nissan waited for months to investigate Ghosn's successor, former Nissan Chief Executive Hiroto Saikawa, and only after Kelly publicly raised concerns.

Saikawa resigned last year over allegations about dubious income. He has not been charged.

``"This report confirms that Nissan's investigation was biased, lacked integrity and independence, and was designed and executed for the predetermined purpose of taking out Carlos Ghosn,'' the lawyers said in a statement.

Both Ghosn and Kelly say they are innocent.

Kelly is accused of helping Ghosn under-report his income.

Nissan says Ghosn ``"single-handedly``" decided on his compensation. It has promised to ameliorate corporate governance since the arrest of Ghosn in November 2018.

Japan and Lebanon do not have an extradition treaty. Experts say it is virtually impossible to continue Ghosn's trial in Japan. Kelly and Nissan as a company are still expected to stand trial.