TOKYO (Reuters) – A former Nissan Motor (T:7201) executive arrested along with ex-chairman Carlos Ghosn has defended Ghosn’s compensation, saying it was discussed with other officials and paid out appropriately, Japanese public broadcaster NHK said on Saturday.
In his first reported comments since his arrest on Monday, Greg Kelly was also quoted by NHK as saying that he had worked for the good of Nissan rather than just following Ghosn’s instructions.
Japanese prosecutors say Ghosn and Kelly conspired to understate Ghosn’s remuneration by about half the 10 billion yen ($88 million) he earned at Nissan over five years from 2010. The company has also cited other, multiple infractions.
“The former chairman’s compensation was discussed with those in the related department and carried out appropriately. I was not just following the former chairman’s orders, but working for the good of the company,” Kelly said, according to the report.
Nissan’s board voted unanimously on Thursday to remove Ghosn and Kelly from their positions. Both were arrested after a Nissan investigation uncovered evidence of serious wrongdoing including under-reporting remuneration and personal use of company assets.