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.
Let the Truth be known. If you read VB and like VB, please be a VB Supporter and Help us deliver the Truth to one and all.
Bengaluru, Aug 19: Former Karnataka Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy on Monday said he was not afraid of any probe into the phone tapping allegations, as he accused the BJP government of running a "transfer business" in the State.
The JDS leader's statement triggered a war of words with chief minister B Yeddiyurappa's son B Y Vijayendra saying it was not appropriate to make "baseless allegations."
Yediyurappa, however, said he was not going to react to the charges.
"Why do you want to put words in my mouth? May God bless him. The whole world knows what he has done..," he told reporters.
It all started with Kumaraswamy's purported statement on Sunday that Yediyurappa had left his sons to run the 'transfer businesses' as reported by some news channels.
Taking a serious note of it, Vijayendra tweeted the clipping of Kumaraswamy's statement as it appeared in a Kannada news channel, which read that Yediyurappa has "let his son loose to run the transfer business."
"...You cannot pass the buck on somebody else for your deeds. Stop trying to mislead the people through falsehood just because you are scared of the CBI probe into the telephone tapping case," he said.
Vijayendra also tweeted links to news reports that claimed the then PWD minister H D Revanna had transferred 700 officials on a single day last year when Kumaraswamy was the chief minister.
Later, speaking to reporters in Bengaluru, Vijayendra slammed Kumaraswamy for making "baseless allegations" against him and his family.
"It is not appropriate to make baseless allegations against me and our family. It does not befit his stature," Vijayendra said.
He challenged Kumaraswamy to make the facts public if he has evidence to back his claim.
"People have seen how during your tenure governance had collapsed due to the involvement of your family. People of the state have seen how 700 staff in the PWD were given promotion and transferred," Vijayendra said.
Reacting, Kumarasawmy cautioned chief minister Yediyurappa to keep his children "within their limits."
He alleged that the chief ministers residence has turned into a "transfer market" these days.
Speaking about the governments intention to conduct a CBI probe into the alleged phone tapping, Kumaraswamy said he was not scared of any probe because he did not do anything wrong.
However, he asked the chief minister not to fix innocent people only to take revenge on him.
Days after phone tapping allegations during the previous Congress-JDS coalition government surfaced, Yediyurappa on Sunday said he will order a CBI probe citing demands by several political leaders including from the Congress.