Lawyers for ex-Nissan boss Carlos Ghosn have attacked the company, accusing it of conducting a biased investigation of his leadership.
They said the inquiry, which led to his arrest in Japan, was launched with “the specific, predetermined purpose of taking down Carlos Ghosn”.
“That investigation was never about finding the truth,” they said.
The comments came ahead of a press conference that Mr Ghosn is scheduled to hold in Lebanon later today.
Nissan did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the claims, which are similar to ones that Mr Ghosn has made previously.
In the much anticipated news conference on Wednesday, he is expected to provide more information about how he surprised Japanese authorities by skipping bail and fleeing the country at the end of last month.
Mr Ghosn ran carmaker Nissan until he was arrested in Japan on charges of financial misconduct, including improperly reporting his compensation, in November 2018.
In Tuesday’s statement, his defence team said that “Nissan’s claim that it conducted ‘a robust, thorough internal investigation’ is a gross perversion of the truth”.
They argue that the independence of the executives and legal teams in charge of the inquiry was compromised and complain that Mr Ghosn himself was never interviewed.
“These are not the hallmarks of a company committed to conducting fair and impartial investigation, rather evidence that Nissan’s investigation was fundamentally flawed, biased, and lacking in independence from its inception,” they argue.
Executives wanted to block his efforts to integrate Japan’s Nissan with France’s Renault, they added.
The comments came after Nissan issued a statement on Tuesday, saying it would still take legal action against Mr Ghosn despite him no longer being in Japan.
The carmaker also defended its decision to remove him from office, saying he was “not fit to serve as an executive”.
Tokyo prosecutors have separately issued an arrest warrant for his wife, Carole, who they say is suspected of making false statements to court.
She told Le Parisien that she was not aware of plans for his escape and called her husband a “victim of an industrial plot and the war between Renault and Nissan”.