Tech & Science Ex-Nissan boss Ghosn says French envoy told him of inside plot

22:46  14 january  2020
22:46  14 january  2020 Source:   reuters.com

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Carlos Ghosn smiling for the camera: Former Nissan chairman Carlos Ghosn talks during an exclusive interview with Reuters in Beirut© Reuters/MOHAMED AZAKIR Former Nissan chairman Carlos Ghosn talks during an exclusive interview with Reuters in Beirut

Former Nissan chairman Carlos Ghosn, speaking in Beirut after his dramatic escape from Japanese justice, said on Tuesday that the French ambassador had warned him shortly after his arrest that his own company was plotting against him.

"Frankly, I was shocked by the arrest and the first thing I asked is make sure Nissan knows so they can send me a lawyer," Ghosn told Reuters in an interview in Beirut.

"And the second day, 24 hours from this, I received a visit from the French ambassador who told me: 'Nissan is turning against you'. And this is where I realised that the whole thing was a plot."

Japan blasts 'unjustifiable' Ghosn's escape

  Japan blasts 'unjustifiable' Ghosn's escape Carlos Ghosn's escape from Japan is "unjustifiable" and he is thought to have left the country using "illegal methods", the Japanese justice minister said Sunday, in the first official public comments on the case. It is believed that he used some wrongful methods to illegally leave the country. It is extremely regrettable that we have come to this situation," added the minister.She confirmed Ghosn's bail has already been cancelled and that an Interpol "red notice" had been issued.

Former Nissan CEO Hiroto Saikawa, who was forced to resign last year after admitting that he had received improper compensation, told a news conference shortly after Ghosn's arrest that Ghosn had been using corporate money for personal purposes and under-reporting his income for years.

The arrest of Ghosn, widely respected for rescuing the carmaker from near-bankruptcy, has put Japan's criminal justice system under international scrutiny.

Among the practices now under the spotlight are keeping suspects in detention for long periods and excluding defence lawyers from interrogations, which can last eight hours a day.

"When he told me that 'two hours or three hours later, after your arrest, Saikawa went in a press conference and made his infamous statement where he said, you know, 'I am horrified, but what I'm learning...'' - so when he told me he made these statements, I said 'Oh my God this is a plot'."

How Carlos Ghosn Became the World’s Most Famous Fugitive

  How Carlos Ghosn Became the World’s Most Famous Fugitive An audacious plan months in the making offered a small shot at freedom or a certain trip back to a Tokyo jail cell.Carole, who’d departed Japan in a hurry after her husband was taken into custody on a fourth charge in early April, has spent much of the last year lobbying tirelessly on his behalf—a campaign that was taking an obvious toll. “They’ve destroyed our lives, we are scarred forever,” she said of Ghosn’s accusers in a November interview with Bloomberg Television. “It’s been the hardest year of my life.” They were allowed to speak for one hour, but it wasn’t enough; they still had much more to say to each other.

Ghosn, 65, fled Japan last month while awaiting trial on charges of under-reporting earnings, breach of trust and misappropriation of company funds, all of which he denies.

The one-time titan of the car industry said the alternative to fleeing would have been to spend the rest of his life languishing in Japan without a fair trial. Ghosn said he had escaped to his childhood home of Lebanon in order to clear his name. He noted that there were conflicting stories about his astonishing escape, but declined to say how he had managed to flee.

Tokyo prosecutors said his allegations of a conspiracy were false and that he had failed to justify his acts. The 14-month saga has shaken the global auto industry and jeopardised the Renault-Nissan alliance, of which Ghosn was the mastermind.

Japan's Ministry of Justice has said it will try to find a way to bring Ghosn back from Lebanon, even the countries have no extradition treaty.

Ghosn said the Japanese authorities were intent on preventing him from having a just trial.

(Reporting by Samia Nakhoul and Alessandra Galloni; Editing by Kevin Liffey)

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