With Mr. Ghosn’s flight to Lebanon at the end of 2019 before the start of his trial in Japan for financial embezzlement, only his former American assistant Greg Kelly, 64, has been on trial since September.
Mr Kelly is accused of illegally and knowingly failing to mention in Nissan’s stock reports from 2010 to 2018 compensation of around 9.2 billion yen (73 million euros) which Mr Ghosn was later supposed to receive .
Hearings since the start of this trial are often very technical, combing through the various means with which Mr. Ghosn sought, according to his accusers, to circumvent a Japanese law strengthening from 2010 the transparency on the remuneration of bosses.
In a dark suit, Mr Nada, a former member of Mr Ghosn’s close guard at Nissan, said on Thursday that the ex-boss wanted to cut the published portion of his pay because he feared losing his job in the event of scandal related to the size of its income, reported the Japanese television channel NHK.
Constantly standing in front of the judges, he added that he had been commissioned by Mr. Kelly to therefore find ways to increase the portion of compensation Mr. Ghosn was to receive after his retirement from Nissan.
“We came to the conclusion that we could include SAR (bonuses indexed to the performance of Nissan shares over a given period, editor’s note) in these calculations,” said Mr. Nada, according to an AFP journalist. on the spot.
Like Mr. Ghosn, Mr. Kelly has denied from the start having violated Japanese stock market rules, stressing that he was looking for a “legal” way to pay the big boss more.
The additional remuneration of Mr. Ghosn had not been definitively validated by Nissan, also argues the defense of Mr. Kelly, who faces up to ten years in prison.
Mr. Nada was protected from prosecution by working with Japanese justice before the outbreak of the Ghosn case, under a new status of “whistleblower”.
He is still employed by Nissan, which can hardly fire him despite his old, very ambiguous ties to MM. Ghosn and Kelly.
Former Nissan chief executive Hiroto Saikawa – forced to resign in September 2019 after having to reveal that he himself had collected excess SARs under Carlos Ghosn – is due to appear at the end of February at Mr Kelly’s trial in as a simple witness too.
Nissan’s new chief executive, Makoto Uchida, is due to testify in early July, at the end of the trial.