Nissan is suing its former chairman Carlos Ghosn, seeking 10bn yen (£70m) in damages it claims stem from “years of misconduct and fraudulent activity”.

In a lawsuit filed in Yokohama District Court, the Japanese carmaker said it aims to “recover a significant part of the monetary damages inflicted on the company by its former chairman”.

It said 10bn yen was the cost of Mr Ghosn’s alleged wrongdoing, including payments to his sister, rent for overseas property and use of corporate jets.

The executive who led Nissan for two decades is accused of understating his income and using company funds for events including his wedding at the Palace of Versailles in 2016.

Nissan said it expects the claim to increase as it seeks to recover fines anticipated to be levied by regulators in relation to the scandal.

Mr Ghosn, who fled from house arrest in Tokyo to Lebanon in December, said Nissan’s “manoeuvres” continued.

A spokesperson for Mr Ghosn said: “We note that after months of announcing damages of 35bn yen, Nissan is now claiming 10 at the moment. Mr Ghosn’s lawyers will react on the merits of the case once the content of the claim has been brought to their attention.”

Nissan may pursue further legal action against its fugitive former boss for what it called “groundless and defamatory” remarks Mr Ghosn made in a news conference in Beirut last month.

He claimed he was brought down by a boardroom plot to oust him and take control of the company.

“My unimaginable ordeal is the result of a handful of unscrupulous, vindictive individuals,” Mr Ghosn told reporters in January.

He alleged that certain Nissan insiders were not happy with a planned integration with Renault.

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“I was ready to retire before June 2018 ... I unfortunately accepted this offer to continue to integrate the two companies.

“Some of my Japanese friends thought that the only way to get rid of the influence of Renault on Nissan, was to get rid of me.”

He repeated his denial of all charges against him and railed at the Japanese justice system which has a conviction rate higher than 99 per cent.

Accusing law enforcement of trying to break his spirit, he added: “Why have they extended the investigation timeline, why have they rearrested me?”

“Why were they so intent on preventing me from talking and setting out my facts?"

Japanese authorities issued an arrest warrant for Mr Ghosn last month, and a separate warrant for his wife for alleged perjury.

Lebanon and Japan have no extradition treaty and Mr Ghosn is unlikely to be rearrested.