Lawyers acting for one of the three sacked Renault employees insist CEO Carlos Ghosn has not made an industrial case for his dismissal as the chief has couched his language in strategic rather than technological terms.

Ghosn took to the French airwaves last night (23 January) to put the automaker’s side, citing “multiple proofs,” but the legal team representing one of the redundant workers, Michel Balthazard, insists the situation has now changed.

“The president of Renault had not made any industrial case – that is why I am defending M. Balthazard because he is an engineer – he denies all accusations,” Fischer, Tandeau de Marsac, Sur & Associés partner Pierre-Olivier Sur told just-auto from Paris.

“The situation has changed a bit therefore.”

Ghosn put up a strong defence of Renault’s actions on television, following deliberation by a large team at the manufacturer, including those on its ethics committee.

Insisting several times Renault would not be a “soft target,” Ghosn said the matter would now follow a judicial process, but Balthazard has submitted a claim of false accusation.

A spokesman for Sur’s office in Paris said he remained mystified as to the basis of Renault’s decision to sack Balthazard. “It is the big question, where these accusations come from,” he told just-auto. “Michel Balthazard has nothing to do whatsoever with these accusations such as having overseas accounts or delivering documents.”

“Our client, who is an engineer, has nothing to do with the business of Renault’s economic strategy. Carlos Ghosn said more about economic and strategic things about electric cars rather than technology. That is a new element that is extremely favourable for our client.”

Ghosn declined to be drawn on the question of bank accounts – with speculation these involved Swiss elements – during his television appearance contenting himself to comment: “It is not for us to transform ourselves into a judicial process.”