Tokyo, Nov 26 (AP): The board of Japanese automaker Mitsubishi Motors, which is allied with Renault and Nissan, voted unanimously Monday to dismiss Carlos Ghosn as its chairman following his arrest last week.
Prosecutors arrested Ghosn on November 19 on suspicion he under-reported his income by USD 44 million over five years.
Nissan Motor Co ousted him as its chairman last week, saying an internal investigation prompted by a whistleblower also found Ghosn misused company money and assets.
Mitsubishi Motors' CEO Osamu Masuko, chosen by the board as acting chairman pending a shareholders' meeting, said Ghosn would not be able to perform his duties, considering his arrest and Nissan's dismissal of him as chairman.
Masuko said he did not know the specifics of the criminal allegations and declined comment on the case.
When asked for his personal view about the situation, Masuko said he was baffled.
"To be honest, I was shocked, and I couldn't believe it," he told reporters at Mitsubishi Motors' showroom at headquarters.
"I still can't figure out why, and I just don't understand."
But Masuko insisted the three-way alliance will persevere, saying it's critical for the automakers' futures, especially in working together on new technologies such as autonomous driving, artificial intelligence and connectivity for vehicles.
"We believe the alliance is needed," Masuko told reporters at Mitsubishi Motors' showroom at headquarters.
"Where the three companies are headed is not confrontation."
Ghosn was central in creating the alliance, but would have had to leave eventually, he said, adding just that the "timing had come sooner."
Renault has kept Ghosn as chief executive, while appointing an interim chair while the company awaits more information about the allegations against him.
The disruptions over Ghosn's case have added to worries about the future of the alliance between Renault, Nissan and Mitsubishi, whose status as the most recent addition could be more precarious.
European media have speculated that the case against Ghosn was partly driven by a desire to fend off moves to merge Renault and Nissan and keep the company under Japanese control.
Resentment within the Japanese automaker against Ghosn's pay and power may also have played a role.
Ghosn has been a dominant force in the Japanese auto industry for nearly two decades.
He led the addition of Mitsubishi into the alliance in 2016 after the smaller automaker was embroiled in an inspections reporting scandal.
Nissan holds a 34 per cent stake in Mitsubishi.
Japanese media, citing unidentified sources, are reporting that Ghosn and Greg Kelly, an executive who was arrested on suspicion of collaborating with him, are asserting their innocence. Ghosn has not commented publicly.
The two executives have not yet been charged. Under Japanese law, a suspect can be held in custody for up to three weeks per suspected charge without any charges being filed.
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New Delhi, Dec 11: The Supreme Court said on Tuesday that if there is a "common thread" among the murders of social activists Narendra Dabholkar, Govind Pansare, journalist Gauri Lankesh and rationalist M M Kalburgi, then one agency can investigate all the four cases.
A bench of Justices U U Lalit and Navin Sinha asked the CBI to inform it by January first week as to why it should not investigate all the four cases if there appears a link among all the murders.
The counsel for the Maharashtra government informed the court that the CBI is investigating the murder cases of social activist and professor Narendra Dabholkar after the Bombay High Court transferred the probes to the agency.
The court, after perusing the status report of the Karnataka Police, said there appears to be a link between the murders of journalist Gauri Lankesh and rationalist M.M Kalburgi.
It asked the Maharashtra government's counsel about the status of the investigation into the Pansare murder case, to which the counsel said the case was pending before the Kolhapur trial court.
Earlier in the day, the Karnataka Police had informed the apex court that there appears to be a connection between Lankesh and Kalburgi murder cases.
The state police also told the apex court that it will file a chargesheet in the Kalburgi murder case in three months.
Noted scholar Kalburgi was killed at Dharwad in 2015. Pansare was also killed the same year. Lankesh was shot dead on September 5, 2017 in Bengaluru, whereas rationalist Dabholkar was assassinated on August 20, 2013.
The top court on November 26 had pulled up the Karnataka government for "doing nothing and just fooling around" in the investigation and had indicated that it may transfer the case to the Bombay High Court.
The top court had on January 10 sought the response of probe agencies NIA and CBI and the two state governments on the allegation of Uma Devi that no substantial investigation has been carried out so far in the murder case.
Kalburgi's wife, in her petition, had alleged that there was common link between the murder of her husband and that of activists Narendra Achyut Dabholkar and Govindrao Pansare, who too were assassinated in August 2013 and February 2015 respectively.
The 77-year old Kalburgi, the former vice chancellor of Hampi University and a well-known epigraphist, was shot dead in broad daylight at his residence in Kalyan Nagar in Dharwad, Karnataka, on August 30, 2015. Born in 1938, he was a Sahitya Akademi award-winning writer of old Kannada literature.