FILE PHOTO: Former Nissan chairman Carlos Ghosn gestures during a news conference at the Lebanese Press Syndicate in Beirut, Lebanon January 8, 2020. REUTERS/Mohamed Azakir/File Photo
AMSTERDAM (Reuters) – Lawyers for Carlos Ghosn, the fugitive former automotive executive, on Monday argued in a Dutch court for the release of internal documents relating to his dismissal by Nissan Motor (7201.T) and Mitsubishi Motors (7211.T).
Ghosn, former chairman of the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi alliance who was arrested in Japan in 2018 but fled to Lebanon last December, launched a court case in the Netherlands against the Japanese carmakers in July arguing that his firing was unlawful.
Monday’s hearing at the Amsterdam District Court was the first public session in the case. Ghosn is seeking 15 million euros ($17 million) in damages from the carmakers, who he says violated Dutch labor laws.
“Nissan and Mitsubishi publicly shamed Ghosn,” attorney lawyer Roeland de Mol told the court. “Their reports and accusations were never put to Ghosn. There was no due process.”
De Mol said Ghosn wants “a full debate on the reasons of Ghosn’s dismissal. We need the information in his file to be able to do that. Mr. Ghosn is ready for a fight.”
Ghosn is seeking access to documents relating to internal Nissan and Mitsubishi investigations, which the carmakers used to substantiate his dismissal on allegations of financial misconduct.
His defense team has argued that the documents will show the companies were aware of Ghosn’s activities.
Ghosn’s lawyers claim he was unfairly dismissed as chairman of Nissan-Mitsubishi BV, a Dutch-registered entity, because the details of the allegations were not shared with him.
Reporting by Bart Meijer; Additonal reporting by Laurence Frost; Writing by Anthony Deutsch; Editing by Hugh Lawson