Nissan Motor Co. has asked its staff to refrain from any communications with jailed directors Carlos Ghosn and Greg Kelly and their lawyers as Japanese prosecutors investigate the officials at the center of a scandal about under-reporting of pay.

Employees were asked not to get in touch on their own and not to respond if contacted, according to an internal memo Nissan wrote to its employees Dec. 21. Nissan staff should immediately report the contact or attempted contact to the company’s legal department, according to the notice.

When contacted, Nissan declined to comment. On Dec. 21, Nissan Chief Executive Officer Hiroto Saikawa sought to reassure staff that the carmaker is addressing corporate-governance shortcomings.

Hiroto Saikawa
Photographer: Kiyoshi Ota/Bloomberg

The same day, Japanese prosecutors re-arrested Nissan’s former chairman Ghosn on fresh, more serious allegations of financial misconduct, dealing a blow to the car titan’s efforts to end his month-long stay in jail and seek bail. Kelly, who was arrested along with Ghosn on Nov. 19, may be released on Christmas Day, his wife has said.

The Ghosn drama, which has been escalating and shocked the world, raised questions about Nissan’s corporate governance, with the allegations spanning at least a decade. The car titan and Nissan were indicted on Dec. 10 for falsifying securities reports which under-reported his income by tens of millions of dollars. Ghosn has denied the allegations.

--With assistance from Ma Jie.

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