Skip to main content
Welcome to
super saver spring
offer ends april 20
save over $140
save over 85%
$0.99
per week for 24 weeks
Welcome to
super saver spring
$0.99
per week
for 24 weeks
// //

Chateau de Versailles (Versailles palace) in Versailles near Paris, France is seen on July 30, 2017. Ghosn's lawyer claims there may have been a misunderstanding between Versailles and party planners working for Ghosn.

Stefano Rellandini/Reuters

French prosecutors investigating a party that former Renault-Nissan boss Carlos Ghosn threw for his wife at the sumptuous Versailles palace will in the next few weeks ask judges to examine the case, bringing a prosecution a step closer.

Prosecutors have been investigating whether Mr. Ghosn – now in Lebanon after he fled prosecution last month in Japan on financial misconduct charges – knowingly used company resources to throw a party that was for private purposes.

An official with the prosecutor’s office in Nanterre, near Paris, which has been handling the investigation, told Reuters a judge or judges would be assigned to pursue the case against Mr. Ghosn.

Story continues below advertisement

The judges have wider powers than prosecutors to pursue a criminal case. They can, in certain circumstances, order the detention of a suspect pending trial, or issue an international arrest warrant if the suspect is abroad.

Asked by Reuters to comment, Jean-Yves Le Borgne, one of Ghosn’s legal team, said Mr. Ghosn had done nothing wrong over the party, but there may have been a misunderstanding between Versailles and party planners working for Mr. Ghosn.

The lawyer said Mr. Ghosn had offered to pay back the €50,000 ($73,000) cost of renting the venue for the party.

“Carlos Ghosn is ready to answer French justice. Regarding his possible travel to France, things are complicated,” Mr. Le Borgne added, citing a travel ban imposed by Lebanese prosecutors, and an Interpol notice requesting Mr. Ghosn’s arrest, as demanded by Japanese authorities.

The Renault-Nissan alliance did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Mr. Ghosn was once a giant of the global auto industry but is now a fugitive from Japanese justice. He last month slipped out of Japan, where he was subject to strict bail conditions, managing to board a private jet to Turkey and from there flying to Lebanon, his childhood home.

He says the Japanese charges were fabricated as part of a plot to oust him from the Renault-Nissan alliance.

Story continues below advertisement

The party at Versailles, principal residence of generations of French kings until the French Revolution of 1789, took place on Oct. 8, 2016. Mr. Ghosn said it was to mark the 50th birthday of his wife, Carole.

The case revolves around whether Mr. Ghosn was aware that Renault-Nissan would end up footing the bill.

Mr. Ghosn has denied any wrongdoing. He said the event was never presented as a corporate party, and he believed the venue was being offered free to him personally as a goodwill gesture by Versailles.

He said he was later surprised to find out that it cost €50,000 and that the amount had been deducted from an allocation for the use of Versailles that Renault had been given in exchange for financing renovations.

However, a spokeswoman for Versailles Palace said it was clear at the time the party took place that the event was presented as corporate in nature, and that the ultimate client the venue was dealing with was Renault-Nissan.

“There was nothing which would allow us to believe this dinner was anything other than a corporate event.”

Story continues below advertisement

She said that Versailles had documents demonstrating the parties were presented as corporate events, and said that Versailles was ready to share them with investigators. She declined to disclose the documents to Reuters.

Report an error
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

If you do not see your comment posted immediately, it is being reviewed by the moderation team and may appear shortly, generally within an hour.

We aim to have all comments reviewed in a timely manner.

Comments that violate our community guidelines will not be posted.

UPDATED: Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies