Nissan ex-chair Ghosn says a 'conspiracy' led to his arrest

Mae Love
April 11, 2019

In an interview recorded just before his latest arrest, Ghosn himself called on the French government "to defend me" against a case that he has presented as a "conspiracy" by Nissan executives angry as what they saw as Renault's attempt to dominate the Renault-Nissan alliance.

Ousted Nissan boss Carlos Ghosn said he was innocent and slammed former colleagues whom he accused of backstabbing and conspiring against him, in a pre-recorded video that marked his first public address since his initial arrest previous year.

Former Nissan chairman Carlos Ghosn, seen on a screen, speaks in a video during a press conference held by his lawyers in Tokyo, Tuesday, April 9, 2019.

Tokyo prosecutors served a fourth arrest warrant against the 65-year-old last week for alleged misuse of the carmaker's funds.

The man responsible for the alliance between Nissan and Renault, as well as Mitsubishi, said his love for Nissan and for Japan are undiminished by his current circumstances.

The new charges - following a $9m bail after four months behind bars - claim Ghosn enriched himself with Nissan money and caused the auto manufacturer $5m (£3.8m) in damages.

This reportedly cast another shadow of executive uncertainty which contributed to those who Ghosn claims conspired against him.

Ghosn already faces three formal charges: two of deferring his salary and concealing that in official shareholders' documents, and a further charge of seeking to shift investment losses to the firm.

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He then lived in a court-appointed apartment in Tokyo without commenting on his situation despite huge worldwide and Japanese media interest in his case.

Nissan shareholders voted to remove Ghosn from the board on Monday, effectively severing all ties with the former CEO and chairman.

There has been huge worldwide and Japanese media interest in his case that has shocked and surprised many from the beginning, the AFP reported.

Shortly after his arrest, his wife Carole - who had been living in Tokyo with Mr Ghosn while he was on bail - left Japan.

His wife Carole received help from France's ambassador to Japan to flee Tokyo last week amid reports that investigators planned to question her also. "I will think about my future when I reach the point where I can hand over the baton to the next", Saikawa told the meeting.

Despite her Lebanese passport being confiscated by Japanese authorities, Carole said she was able to use her United States passport to board a flight and was accompanied by the ambassador to the airport.

The video comes a day after Nissan Motor Co. shareholders on Monday approved Ghosn's removal from its board, ending his almost two decades stint with the Japanese carmaker.

Shareholders also approved the appointment of Renault's new chairman Jean-Dominique Senard in Ghosn's place.

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