The French finance minister has said Renault – in which the French government holds a 15% stake — plans to bring a case against former chief executive Carlos Ghosn after identifying EUR11m of questionable expenses.

The Japan Times said the prospect of new legal action backed by France marks a new headache for the former Renault CEO, who was also Nissan chairman in the alliance with the Japanese carmaker, after his arrest in Tokyo in November.

"The (French) state will hand over all the elements to the judicial authorities and there will be a complaint," finance minister Bruno Le Maire told BFM TV in an interview.

"The state will play its role fully as a Renault shareholder. When the state has a shareholding like it does in Renault, its role is to assure that (corporate) governance works well," he added.

He said the conclusions of an internal audit carried out by Renault had uncovered "reprehensible" facts and it was now up to the judicial authorities to take the next decision.

The internal audit conducted by Renault and Nissan Motor identified EUR11m of questionable expenses at their Dutch subsidiary RNBV linked to Ghosn, the paper said.

"These findings confirmed the existence of deficiencies within RNBV in terms of financial transparency and procedures for monitoring expenditure," Renault said in a statement cited by the report.

It said the company was looking into legal action over Ghosn's "extra costs of air travel" and other expenses "as well as exploring recovering from Mr Ghosn gifts made to some non-profit organisations".