Tokyo court plans to hold Ghosn trial in September

The Tokyo District Court plans to hold the first hearing for Nissan Motor’s former chairman Carlos Ghosn in September.

Ghosn has been indicted for underreporting his executive compensation in Nissan’s securities reports, in violation of the Financial Instruments and Exchange Act. He is also charged with aggravated breach of trust.

Court officials, prosecutors and Ghosn’s defense team gathered at the Tokyo District Court on Wednesday to discuss how to proceed with the trial.

Sources say the court conveyed its plan to prosecutors and Ghosn’s lawyers. The parties also decided to hold on May 23 the first meeting to sort out issues of contention.
Prosecutors will explain at the trial that Ghosn’s executive compensation in Nissan reached 31.4 billion yen, or more than 280 million dollars, over the 19 year period since his arrival in Japan in 1999.

They are expected to point out that the underreporting was prompted by a system introduced 9 years ago obliging corporate executives to disclose compensation of over 100 million yen, or about 900,000 dollars.

Prosecutors will likely argue that to hide his huge compensation, Ghosn ordered his subordinates to lobby the Financial Services Agency to block introduction of the system.

They will also likely claim that Ghosn ordered his aides to think of ways by which he could receive the unreported, unpaid compensation after his retirement.

Ghosn maintains his innocence on all fronts. His lawyers say Ghosn intends to attend pre-trial talks on issues of contention.

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