Court 'bars Ghosn from attending' Nissan board meeting

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The removal of Ghosn, credited for rescuing Nissan from near-bankruptcy in 1999, had caused much uncertainty about the future of the alliance and some speculation the partnership could even unravel. The restrictions say he cannot tamper with evidence, and attending the board meeting could be seen as putting pressure on Nissan employees. The Tokyo District Court said it rejected Ghosn's request on Monday but did not elaborate on the reasons.

The two firms have since been at pains to present a united front and new Renault boss Jean-Dominique Senard will appear with Saikawa at a news conference in Tokyo on Tuesday after the Nissan board meeting.

Ghosn, who has been indicted by prosecutors on charges including aggravated breach of trust in violation of the Companies Law, was released on bail on March 6.

Ghosn subsequently appealed the court decision, his lawyers said.

French carmaker Renault said on Monday that it was in talks with its Japanese partners Nissan and Mitsubishi Motor over a new alliance body for the three companies.

One of the world's best-known auto executives, Ghosn was sacked as chairman of Nissan, Renault and Mitsubishi, and resigned as chief executive of Renault after his arrest. "And the third.is to respect people and consider them innocent as long as it has not been proven differently".

Doubts over the balance of power between Renault and Nissan had been growing after Ghosn's departure.

Under the terms of his release, he is forbidden from contacting people who could be involved in his case, including Nissan executives likely to attend board meetings, such as CEO Hiroto Saikawa.

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A decision at a shareholders' meeting is needed to remove Ghosn from the board.

Renault holds 43 percent of Nissan shares while Nissan holds 15 percent of Renault shares.

He faces three charges of financial misconduct over allegations he under-reported his compensation and sought to transfer personal losses to Nissan's books.

He believes that the accusations against him, which he has frequently described as "meritless and unsubstantiated", should not prevent him from giving his input into a company he saved from the brink.

Ghosn is accused of underreporting his remuneration in Nissan's securities reports by around 9 billion yen ($80 billion) over eight years.

Renault disclosed last month that the chateau had waived the usual 50 000 euro rental fee for the October 2016 Marie Antoinette-themed party under a sponsorship deal signed a few months earlier.

Ghosn's lawyer in France, Jean-Yves Le Borgne, told AFP that the executive "stands ready" to repay the money, saying his client was "not aware he owed it because he had not been billed".

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