Nissan has announced a series of planned court actions against its former chairman Carlos Ghosn after his flight from the law in Japan.
Ghosn, who was facing criminal charges of financial misconduct in the country – related to his tenure at Nissan – made headlines globally in December when he skipped bail and escaped to Lebanon while protesting his innocence.
The carmaker said on Tuesday that it had filed a civil case in Japan seeking $ 91m (£70m) in damages over his alleged criminal activity while at Nissan.
The company said the sum it was suing for was likely to “increase in the future” because of fines it was expecting to pay regulators relating to Ghosn’s behaviour.
It also announced that it could pursue a separate legal action over what it called “groundless and defamatory” remarks made by Ghosn at a news conference in Beirut just over a week after his arrival in the city.
He was due to face trial in Tokyo this April accused of understating his annual salary and misusing company funds.
Ghosn said he fled Japan 13 months after his arrest because he saw no prospect of receiving any justice – claiming he was the victim of a conspiracy involving Nissan and the Japanese government to remove him.
That allegation has been fiercely denied by authorities in Tokyo.
He has said very little about the nature of his escape.
Lebanese news channel MTV reported that he used a paramilitary-style group to smuggle him out of the country.
It was claimed the members disguised themselves as a music band who were due to perform for a Gregorian-style dinner at Ghosn’s home in Japan.
The former Nissan chairman is said to have left the premises in a box intended for transporting musical instruments, before leaving the country from a nearby airport in a private jet.
Lebanon has no extradition agreements with Japan, making it unlikely that the authorities in Tokyo would be able to succeed in their efforts to secure Ghosn’s return.