December 12, 2018 / 6:20 PM / 5 months ago

Nissan says ex-boss Ghosn still has no access to Rio apartment

SAO PAULO/TOKYO (Reuters) - Nissan Motor Co’s (7201.T) ex-chairman Carlos Ghosn and his representatives still have no right to access a contested Rio de Janeiro apartment, the automaker said, after a fresh legal document showed a Brazilian court decision to grant access.

FILE PHOTO: The building in which an apartment contained cash, art works and personal belongings of Carlos Ghosn is pictured in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil December 10, 2018. REUTERS/Ricardo Moraes/File photo

According to the document, seen by Reuters, the court decided on Wednesday that the ousted chairman - indicted this week for financial wrongdoing - and his daughter should have the right to access the apartment to retrieve personal belongings.

Nissan said that ruling was irrelevant given an earlier decision by a higher court overturning that decision.

“Since there is still a decision in a higher court upholding Nissan’s existing request, the current situation is that Ghosn’s representatives are not entitled to enter the apartment,” Nissan spokesman Nicholas Maxfield said.

Ghosn and Nissan have battled and appealed several times over the beachfront apartment, which he used while working for the carmaker, since he was accused of financial wrongdoing last month.

At the center of the dispute is Nissan’s claim that the apartment contains three safes that the carmaker says it found there. Nissan says it has not opened the safes but that they may contain evidence against Ghosn, which could be lost if people close to him gained access to the apartment.

The document seen by Reuters showed the court allowing Ghosn and his daughter Caroline, who recently traveled to Brazil, to retrieve personal belongings such as “clothes, photos, books, watches, jewelry, documents”.

To retrieve the items, representatives for Ghosn will have to go accompanied by two judicial officers, the decision says.

Ghosn has been in detention in Tokyo since his Nov. 19 arrest for allegedly underreporting his income.

A representative for the Ghosn family in the United States did not immediately reply to a request for comment.

Reporting by Marcelo Rochabrun in SAO PAOLO, Additional reporting by Chang-Ran Kim in TOKYO; Editing by Phil Berlowitz and Stephen Coates

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