Carlos Ghosn, the former head of the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance, harshly criticized Japan’s justice for the first public appearance after his escape from the Asian state.
Ghosn denounced the arrest and said that everything that happened to him was a conspiracy to keep him from driving the world’s most powerful car alliances – Nissan, Renault and Mitsubishi. “For the first time since this nightmare began, I can defend myself and speak freely,” said Ghosn.
A former alliance chief executive was arrested in Japan a year ago for fraud, including misappropriating company money to a car dealer. Carlos Ghosn denied these allegations and added that the Japanese judicial system “violates even the most basic principles of humanity.” “It is a system that is truly indifferent, regardless of righteousness and basic civil liberties,” said the former director.
He described some of the conditions he faced during 130 days in prison: I was allowed only 30 minutes to get out of the cell and shower twice a week, in addition to the restrictions on medications. Interrogations of up to eight hours a day, with no English or French speakers among prison officials.
Ghosn also said that his arrest was made possible by Nissan executives who were concerned about problems at the company, fearing Nissan would take over French auto maker Renault. “I was ready to retire before June 2018, but unfortunately I accepted this offer to continue to merge the two companies (Renault and Nissan). Some of my Japanese friends believed that the only way to get rid of Renault’s control over Nissan was to get rid of me first,” he told Reuters.
Ghosn claims that his lawyer estimated that his problems with Japanese law would continue for up to five years. “It is not very difficult to reach a result: you either die in Japan or you have to get out of there,” he added.
After Ghosn escaped from Japan, authorities in the Asian country are still trying to know exactly how this happened and announced tougher measures to prevent a similar situation.
Ghosn is a French, Brazilian and Lebanese citizen. The Japanese authorities have withheld the passports of the former president of automakers to prevent him from leaving the country. But Junichiro Hironaka, Ghosn’s Japanese lawyer, said he had legally obtained a second French passport.
Recently, Japanese prosecutors issued an arrest warrant for the wife of former Nissan President Carole Ghosn, accused of false testimony.