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Former Renault-Nissan executive Carlos Ghosn (R) is pictured on a large screen as he takes part remotely in a press conference with his lawyer at the Foreign Correspondents' Club of Japan in Tokyo. Image Credit: AFP

Tokyo: Carlos Ghosn, the former head of Nissan Motor, said his $1 billion lawsuit against the Japanese automaker isn’t retaliation, but an effort to hold the people who plotted against him accountable.

“What I’m looking for is not revenge,” Ghosn said Tuesday via video link at an event hosted by the Foreign Correspondents Club of Japan. “I just want to make sure that all the criminals and the plotters cannot sleep quietly in their beds after what they have committed.”

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Ghosn was arrested in 2018 for alleged financial misconduct, and faced trial in Japan until he made a dramatic escape to Lebanon in late 2019. Nissan and Japanese prosecutors claim the former executive used company money for personal gain and under-reported his income. He denies the charges.

Ghosn sued Nissan and connected individuals for “deep damage” to his finances and reputation, and said Tuesday he hoped the effort would help restore some of his rights.

“Nissan has created a lot of damage for me, damage that cannot be repaired,” the 69-year-old said. “The only thing I can obtain is a small compensation.”

Nissan declined to comment, as it does with all active legal proceedings, other than saying it would defend any claims against the company and its employees.

Regarding efforts to rebalance the troubled alliance between Nissan and Renault, Ghosn said there is “still a lot of distrust.” The companies and stakeholders are trying to make a “mini alliance,” he said. “What you are going to see is a kind of a very small and reduced cooperation between two companies.”

Ghosn described the departure of Nissan’s former Chief Operating Officer Ashwani Gupta last month as a “soap opera.” Gupta was lucky not end up in jail, he said.

Ghosn still faces criminal and civil charges in Japan.