CNN reports …
Former Nissan executive Greg Kelly has pleaded not guilty to accusations that he helped Carlos Ghosn under-report tens of millions of dollars worth of compensation.
The American businessman and ex-board member of the Japanese automaker appeared in a Tokyo courtroom as his financial misconduct scandal kicked off Tuesday. The trial is expected to last months.
“I deny the allegations. I was not involved in a criminal conspiracy,” Kelly told the court. “The evidence will show that I did not break the law.”
Kelly was arrested almost two years ago alongside Ghosn, the former chairman of Nissan and the architect of its powerful alliance with Renault and Mitsubishi Motors. The case rocked the global auto industry and led to Ghosn’s stunning downfall.
Ghosn was also expected to stand trial in Japan for financial crimes — but at the end of last year, he escaped in dramatic fashion and fled for Lebanon, where he holds citizenship. He remains a fugitive.
Prosecutors claim that from 2011 to 2018, Nissan repeatedly reported about half of what Ghosn had been promised to be paid, concealing over 9 billion yen ($85 million) in compensation. They accuse Kelly and Ghosn of violating financial law by submitting false statements in regulatory filings.