Renault legal team denounces Nissan over Ghosn investigation

Lawyers for French carmaker Renault have criticised their Japanese alliance partner Nissan for its handling of an internal probe into the Carlos Ghosn scandal a Sunday newspaper has reported. — File

Ghosn offers to reimburse Versailles for birthday and wedding cost

Carlos Ghosn, the former chairman and CEO of French carmaker Renault, on Friday announced he was willing to "reimburse" a €50,000 gift from the chateau of Versailles, reportedly linked to his lavish wedding at the royal estate.

Jean-Yves Leborgne, Ghosn's lawyer in France, has told the news wire, "Carlos Ghosn paid for all of his wedding expenses".

Renault said Thursday that it would report the incident to prosecutors after learning that the famed chateau on the outskirts of Paris had waived its usual rental fee under a sponsorship deal signed in 2016.

"He thought it was free", Le Borgne added.

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The waived bill could amount to the misuse of company resources, as well as tax evasion, if the benefit-in-kind was not declared to French authorities.

The lawyer said the problem can be settled if Renault sends an invoice and that Ghosn is ready to pay the costs.

The chateau said Renault gave it €2.3 million to fund renovations in a 2016 philanthropic deal; in exchange, Renault was entitled to benefits from the chateau worth up to 25 percent of the total donation.

Ghosn threw an extravagant Marie Antoinette-themed wedding party at Versailles to celebrate his second marriage which featured actors in 18th-century clothing. Ghosn's arrest in November in Japan and subsequent indictment on three charges has led to renewed scrutiny of his lifestyle and allegations from his Japanese partners that he was greedy.

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"No decision has yet been taken regarding an eventual inquiry", a spokesperson told AFP. The finding was part of an internal probe and marked the first time Renault has disclosed possible improprieties by Ghosn, who remains in a Tokyo jail after allegations of financial crimes were brought against him by Japanese prosecutors. It has also exposed rifts between Nissan and French carmaker Renault which, together with Mitsubishi Motors, make up the world's top-selling auto manufacturing group.

Both Nissan and Renault has launched investigations into Ghosn following allegations he under-reported his salary.

"I was born on June 6, and I deny any role in the glorious D-Day landing on the beaches of Normandy" in 1944, he added.

He resigned last month as chairman and chief executive officer of Renault, in which the French state is the most powerful shareholder.

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