Nissan informed Renault its CEO Hiroto Saikawa was not able to attend an Amsterdam meeting as he was helping Tokyo prosecutors investigating alleged misconduct led by Carlos Ghosn, chairman of the automakers’ alliance, sources with knowledge of the issue informed Reuters.
Renault was told by a Nissan representative this week that “Saikawa was unable to come to Amsterdam because of the Japanese judicial investigation”, one of the people stated.
The November 29 meeting, which Saikawa joined by teleconference, failed to name an interim alliance boss. Ghosn’s earlier arrest and ouster as Nissan chairman triggered a push by Saikawa to exhaust Renault’s control of the partnership.
The message to Renault did not mention whether Saikawa was prohibited from traveling, had agreed to remain in the country or had a scheduling conflict with voluntary meetings with investigators.
A Renault spokesman refused to comment. A Nissan spokesman was not available outside Japanese business hours.
Ghosn remains in detention following a months-long internal Nissan investigation resulted in allegations that he had under-reported earnings and made personal use of company funds. Nissan is 43.4 percent controlled by Renault and in turns controls Mitsubishi Motors, the third alliance partner.
Saikawa’s signature appears on some compensation documents examined by prosecutors, but it is not clear if he was aware of their content, Japanese media such as the Asahi newspaper reported, mentioning sources close the investigation.
Prosecutors prepares to indict Ghosn, Greg Kelly and Nissan on Monday, rival daily Nikkei noted.