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Dutch court orders Ghosn to repay nearly 5 mn euros in wages

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(FILES) In this file photograph taken on September 29, 2020, former Nissan Motor Co. Chairman Carlos Ghosn speaks during a press conference with the President of Lebanon’s University of Kaslik (USEK) launching a joint initiative to help the crisis-ridden country, in the northern city of Jounieh. – Fugitive former auto chief Carlos Ghosn must repay nearly five million euros in wages to Nissan-Mitsubishi that he was paid by their Netherlands-based holding firm, a Dutch court ruled on May 20, 2021. (Photo by ANWAR AMRO / AFP)

Fugitive auto tycoon Carlos Ghosn must repay nearly five million euros in wages to Nissan-Mitsubishi, a Dutch court ruled Thursday as it threw out his own claim for damages.

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Ghosn was seeking 15 million euros ($18 million) for illegal dismissal but the court in Amsterdam said that there was no current contract between him and Nissan-Mitsubishi’s Dutch holding firm.

Ghosn is wanted by Japan on charges of financial misconduct but remains at large in Lebanon, where he fled while on bail.

“The former director of Nissan-Mitsubishi BV has to pay back almost five million euros to the company,” the Amsterdam court said in a statement.

The court said Ghosn was “not entitled to fair compensation, transitional compensation or arrears, as no employment contract has existed between him and the company.

“The necessary permission from the board was lacking.”

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The court said the previous contract that began in July 2012 had expired in April 2018, and that Ghosn must now repay wages he earned between April and November 2018.

Ghosn’s own request for compensation was “inadmissible”, it added.

Ghosn was a global business superstar and head of an auto alliance joining Nissan, Renault and Mitsubishi Motors before his career came crashing to an abrupt end in November 2018, when Tokyo investigators stormed his private jet to arrest him.

The French-Lebanese-Brazilian national was eventually charged with four counts of financial misconduct over claims he hid compensation and misused Nissan funds.

Having spent months in detention, Ghosn was out on bail awaiting trial on the charges — which he denies — when he fled the country in what Japanese prosecutors termed “one of the most brazen and well-orchestrated escape acts in recent history”.

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Carlos Ghosn
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