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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Mumbai: A Mumbai court on Monday issued a bailable warrant against actor Kangana Ranaut after she failed to appear before it in connection with a defamation complaint filed against her by lyricist Javed Akhtar.
The Andheri metropolitan magistrate's court issued a summons to Ranaut on February 1, directing her to appear before it on March 1.
However, Ranaut failed to appear on Monday following which Magistrate R R Khan issued a bailable warrant against her and posted the matter for further hearing on March 26.
A lawyer in the case had earlier informed March 22 as the next date of hearing.
Ranaut's advocate Rizwan Siddiquee argued in the court that the summons and process were issued against Ranaut without following the procedure laid down in law and hence, were "bad in law".
Siddiquee said a petition would be filed in the Bombay High Court challenging the process issued by the magistrate.
Akhtar's advocate Vrinda Grover, however, argued that even if the process is being challenged, Ranaut has to appear before the court as directed, in the absence of any stay on the summons by a higher court.
"It is the accused's right to appeal against the order, or even challenge the proceedings, that no one can deny and no one can stop, not even this court. However, she (Ranaut) has failed to comply with the order of this court and there is also no stay obtained from a higher court,"the lawyer argued.
Grover then filed an application seeking a non- bailable warrant to be issued against the actor. This was opposed by Siddiquee.
Magistrate Khan observed that Ranaut was at the liberty to approach a higher court to challenge the process issued against her, but that would not absolve her from appearing before this court.
The court issued a bailable warrant against Ranaut and posted the matter for hearing on March 26.
Last month, the Mumbai police submitted a report to the court, saying an offence of defamation was made out against the actor.
Akhtar filed the complaint against Ranaut in November last year for allegedly making baseless and false statements against him which, according to him, damaged his reputation.
In his complaint, the lyricist claimed Ranaut had made defamatory comments against him in an interview by dragging his name while referring to a "coterie" existing in Bollywood, following the death of actor Sushant Singh Rajput in June last year.
Akhtar in his plea claimed the baseless comments made by Ranaut had caused damage to his reputation.