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Ghosn ‘is no longer capable of leading Renault’ after arrest in Japan, says French finance minister

Japan's prosecutors are considering whether to charge him over allegations he misused company assets

CARLOS GHOSN should not remain in charge of Renault after his arrest in Japan, French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said today.

He urged the French carmaker, which was taken into public ownership by General de Gaulle’s post-second world war government before privatisation in 1996, to swiftly appoint an interim management team to limit the damage.

“Carlos Ghosn is no longer in a position where he is capable of leading Renault,” the minister told France Info radio.

“Nevertheless, we have not demanded Ghosn’s formal departure from the management board for the simple reason that we do not have any proof and we follow due legal procedure,” he added.

Mr Ghosn is under arrest in Japan, where prosecutors are considering whether to charge him over allegations he misused company assets and under-reported millions of dollars of income.

He is chairman and CEO of the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance. The French state owns 15 per cent of Renault, which in turn holds a 43.4 per cent stake in Nissan.

Mr Le Maire said he would contact his Japanese counterpart over the matter, reiterating that France’s priority was to ensure Renault’s stability.

He insisted that Renault’s partnership with Nissan benefited France, Japan and both companies.

Nissan’s board is due to meet tomorrow to consider dismissing Mr Ghosn and fellow executive Greg Kelly, who is suspected of collaborating with him to falsify securities statements and under-report $44.6 million of his income from 2011-2015.

Earlier this year, Mr Ghosn signed a contract that would have run through to 2022.

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