It Looks Like We'll Have to Wait for Carlos Ghosn's Big Tell-all
Ousted Renault chief executive Carlos Ghosn, who was also dropped as Nissan and Mitsubishi chairman following his November arrest, seemed to appear on Twitter Wednesday, promising to give readers the straight dope on his situation.
“I’m getting ready to tell the truth about what’s happening,” the inaugural tweet of the verified account stated. “Press conference on Thursday, April 11.”
Well, it doesn’t look like that’s going to happen. Japanese authorities showed up at Ghosn Tokyo residence last night to re-arrest the fallen industry icon.
It was Thursday morning, Tokyo time, and it seems Ghosn was on the phone with a Fox Business reporter when officials from the prosecutor’s office arrived.
Unbelievable night. I was about to interview @carlosghosn in exclusive on the phone. Literally as he was calling in, 10 agents showed up at his house & took him I will tell u everything tmrw @MorningsMaria @FoxBusiness 6-9am et. This is criminal. Who wd invest in ?
— Maria Bartiromo (@MariaBartiromo) April 3, 2019
Prosecutors claim Ghosn saddled Nissan with personal expenses to the tune of $5 million over a two-and-a-half-year period ending July 2018. According to Japan’s Kyodo news agency, Ghosn allegedly shifted funds through a dealer in Oman to the account of a company he effectively owned.
The former exec was released on bail on March 6th under very strict conditions. Before that, Ghosn was re-arrested twice for a second count of underreporting his income, plus breach of trust, pushing his stay in a Tokyo detention facility above 100 days.
Speaking through his legal team, Ghosn maintained his innocence, claiming that his most recent arrest is all part of a conspiracy against him, the BBC reports.
“I am innocent of the groundless charges and accusations against me,” Ghosn said, adding that it’s “part of another attempt by some individuals at Nissan to silence me by misleading the prosecutors.”
“Why arrest me except to try to break me? I will not be broken.”
Prosecutors reportedly confiscated the passport and mobile phone of Ghosn’s wife. Via an interview aired on two French TV stations, Ghosn appealed to the French government for help, Reuters reports.
“I call on the French government to defend me, and to defend my rights as a citizen,” Ghosn said.
The former exec’s lawyer, Junichiro Hironaka, called the arrest an attempt to kibosh the planned news conference and muzzle his client. With Ghosn back in jail (for perhaps up to 22 days), the trial expected later this year will likely be pushed back. It will also make it harder for Ghosn’s legal team to secure a “not guilty” verdict.
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