Monday, March 14, 2011

Renault Admits Wrongdoing in Spy Case, Issues Apologies to the Three Ousted Officials

Today's episode on the Renault EV espionage case is one of the most interesting yet, with CEO Carlos Ghosn and COO Patrick Pelata issuing their official apologies to the three executives accused of spying.

Renault’s admission of wrongdoing comes after a communication with the French prosecutors, who found no substance in the complaint filed by the automaker against its former employees. Authorities from Liechtenstein and Switzerland confirmed that Michel Balthazard, Bertrand Rochette and Matthieu Tenenbaum had no bank accounts in the respective countries, thus refuting Renault's claim.

“Carlos Ghosn, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, and Patrick PĂ©lata, Chief Operating Officer, present their sincere apologies and regrets, personally and in the name of Renault, to Messrs Balthazard, Rochette and Tenenbaum, who were wrongly accused in this affair. They are committed that reparations be made to the three executives, and that their honor in the public eye be restored,” Renault said in a statement.

Ghosn and Pelata also expressed their intention to meet with the three employees “as soon as possible.”

The judiciary investigation will now concentrate on the fraud against Renault, with prosecutors issuing yesterday "organized fraud" charges against Dominique Gevrey, the security chief whose internal investigation led to the firing of the three execs.

CEO Carlos Ghosn called for an extraordinary board meeting today, at the end of which sanctions may be applied to the people involved in the case.

By Dan Mihalascu

Sources: Renault, Autonews

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