The Carlos Ghosn Saga: Key Dates
The rollercoaster saga of former Nissan chief Carlos Ghosn has made international headlines, from his shock 2018 detention in Japan to his audacious escape the following year.
As two men accused of helping Ghosn flee are extradited to Japan, here are the key dates in a case that continues to grip the business world:
- November 2018: arrests, firings -
Ghosn is arrested along with his aide Greg Kelly after they arrive separately on private planes in Tokyo on November 19.
They are accused of financial misconduct for an alleged scheme to under-report the salary of Ghosn, then Nissan chief and head of an alliance grouping Renault, Nissan and Mitsubishi Motors.
The pair deny wrongdoing. Ghosn is swiftly removed from his role at all three firms.
- December 2018: new allegations -
Japanese prosecutors charge Ghosn and Kelly on December 10 with under-reporting his salary between 2010 and 2015.
They are immediately rearrested on allegations of further under-reporting between 2015 and 2018.
On December 21, Ghosn is arrested on fresh allegations that he transferred losses from personal financial investments to Nissan. His detention is extended.
- March 2019: Ghosn bail approved -
Ghosn attends his first court hearing in January, insisting the accusations against him are "meritless and unsubstantiated".
His first bail request is denied, and on January 11 two new charges of financial misconduct are filed against him.
The disgraced executive tells AFP from prison that his detention would "not be normal in any other democracy."
On March 5, the court approves Ghosn's third request for bail, set at one billion yen ($9 million, eight million euros).
- April 2019: Rearrest, bailed again -
Ghosn is rearrested in a dawn raid of his Tokyo apartment in early April, and on April 22 authorities hit him with a further charge of aggravated breach of trust -- alleging he siphoned off money for personal ends from cash transferred from Nissan to a dealership in Oman.
On April 25, the court grants Ghosn a second bail of $4.5 million. He is banned from leaving Japan and requires court permission to see his wife.
- September 2019: U.S. charges -
On September 9, Nissan CEO Hiroto Saikawa resigns amid allegations that he also padded his salary, adding 47 million yen by altering the terms of a bonus. He denies wrongdoing but apologizes.
Ghosn and Nissan are accused by U.S. securities regulators of hiding more than $140 million in his expected retirement income from investors.
Ghosn is fined $1 million, and Nissan says it will pay $15 million.
- December 2019: Ghosn jumps bail -
Just before New Year's Eve, Ghosn gives authorities in Japan the slip, hiding in an instrument case to flee on a private plane.
He eventually lands in Lebanon, which does not have an extradition treaty with Japan.
A week later Ghosn gives a press conference claiming Nissan colluded with prosecutors to have him arrested because he wanted to deepen the Japanese firm's alliance with Renault. He says he fled because he did not believe he would get a fair trial.
- May 2020: Accomplices arrested -
Two men accused of helping Ghosn flee Japan, former U.S. special forces member Michael Taylor and his son Peter, are arrested in the United States.
Japan seeks to extradite them, and in September a U.S. judge rules extradition proceedings can move forward.
- September 2020: Kelly trial -
The trial against Kelly begins in Tokyo on a single charge of under-reporting Ghosn's compensation. He denies wrongdoing and pleads not guilty. Nissan, on trial as a firm on the same charge, pleads guilty.
Ex-Nissan whistleblower Hari Nada testifies in Kelly's trial in January, followed by Saikawa in February.
- March 2021: Taylors extradited -
Michael and Peter Taylor lose their battle against extradition and are handed over to Japanese prosecutors.
The pair, who allegedly smuggled Ghosn out of the country in an audio-equipment case in December 2019, land at Narita airport outside Tokyo on March 2.