Ghosn fights for internal Nissan, Mitsubishi documents in Dutch court

Ghosn's lawyers claim he was unfairly dismissed as chairman of Nissan-Mitsubishi BV

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - Lawyers for Carlos Ghosn, the fugitive former automotive executive, on Monday argued in a Dutch court for the release of internal documents relating to his dismissal by Nissan Motor and Mitsubishi Motors.

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Ghosn, former chairman of the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi alliance, was arrested in Japan in 2018 but fled to Lebanon last December.

He launched a court case in the Netherlands against the Japanese carmakers in July, arguing his firing was unlawful.

Monday's hearing at the Amsterdam District Court was the first public session in the case. Ghosn is seeking 15 million euros ($17 million) in damages from the carmakers, who he says violated Dutch labor laws.

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Ghosn speaks at a press conference in Lebanon in January. (AP Photo/Maya Alleruzzo)

A lawyer for Nissan-Mitsubishi dismissed demands by Ghosn's legal team for documents to be released.

Ghosn's lawyers claim he was unfairly dismissed as chairman of Nissan-Mitsubishi BV, a Dutch-registered entity, because the details of the allegations were not shared with him.

"Nissan and Mitsubishi publicly shamed Ghosn,'' attorney lawyer Roeland de Mol told the court. "Their reports and accusations were never put to Ghosn. There was no due process.''

TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %
NSANYNISSAN MOTOR9.455-0.49-4.97%
MSBHYMITSUBISHI CORP52.12-0.49-0.93%

De Mol said Ghosn wants "a full debate on the reasons of Ghosn's dismissal. We need the information in his file to be able to do that. Mr. Ghosn is ready for a fight.''

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Ghosn is seeking access to documents relating to internal Nissan and Mitsubishi investigations, which the carmakers used to substantiate his dismissal on allegations of financial misconduct.

His defense team has argued the documents will show the companies were aware of Ghosn's activities.

Lawyer Eelco Meerdink, representing Nissan-Mitsubishi, said Ghosn's legal team was "going on a fishing expedition.''

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"Their requests are very broad. And it can be no surprise that there are many reasons why we cannot agree to them,'' he said.

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(Reporting by Bart Meijer; Additonal reporting by Laurence Frost; Writing by Anthony Deutsch; Editing by Hugh Lawson and Barbara Lewis)