Carlos Ghosn's lead defence lawyers resign

Carlos Ghosn's lead defence lawyers resign

Two lawyers defending former Nissan chief Carlos Ghosn on charges of financial misconduct submitted their resignations on Wednesday, their law firm said in a statement.

Junichiro Hironaka, 73, a high-profile defence lawyer with a string of courtroom victories to his name, will represent the vehicle industry executive who has spent the past three months in detention in Tokyo.

A former prosecutor, Otsuru's representation of Ghosn pitted him against one of his old colleagues.

Backed by the French government, its biggest shareholder, the carmaker's board agreed on Wednesday to withdraw 25.9 million euros in deferred and performance pay for 2014-18 and waive a non-compete clause worth another 4-5 million euros, approving a proposal that had been reported earlier by Reuters.

Mr Ghosn's new lawyer, whose previous clients include politicians and businessmen accused of corruption and a... Ghosn was arrested last November over allegations of financial misconduct, and was subsequently removed from his positions as chairman and representative director at Nissan.

In a recent interview with The Associated Press, lawyer Akira Kitani, a former judge praised for handing down innocent verdicts, said he thought Ghosn should replace Mr Ohtsuru, and "the sooner the better".

The board noted "that such condition is not met, thereby triggering the loss of Mr Ghosn's rights to the definitive acquisition of such shares".

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The scandal has roiled the global vehicle industry and created tension between Nissan and Renault.

Upon making his first appearance since his arrest in January, Ghosn has denied any wrongdoing, though results which emerged from a Nissan-Mitsubishi joint investigation found that the former joint chairman received 7.82 million euros in improper payments.

In France, vehicle maker Renault said it will not pay former chairman Ghosn compensation following his resignation.

Left intact, his golden parachute could have been politically explosive in France, where President Macron is battling "yellow vest" street protests over low pay and inequality.

"We've always been against excessive pay", the official said.

The amount of salary expense for Ghosn reflects what the company sees as compensation that was promised, but not yet paid. Renault shares were up 0.3 percent at 56.93 euros as of 1404 GMT.

The vehicle maker also cancelled shares granted to Ghosn from 2015 to 2018, which were subject to his continued presence at Renault. The reports cited unnamed sources as is customary with Japanese media and could not immediately be confirmed.

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