Former Nissan boss Ghosn says French envoy warned about Nissan plotting against him

WION Web Team New Delhi Jan 15, 2020, 10.46 AM(IST)

File Photo: Carlos Ghosn. Photograph:( AFP )

Story highlights

"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. 

Former Nissan chairman Carlos Ghosn said that the French ambassador had warned him shortly after his arrest that his own company was plotting against him which forced him to make the dramatic escape to Beirut.

"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."

Former Nissan CEO Hiroto Saikawa, who was forced to resign last year after admitting that he had received improper compensation, told a news conference hours 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.

The French Embassy in Tokyo did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Nissan reiterated a previous comment, including that the carmaker "discovered numerous acts of misconduct by Ghosn through a robust, thorough internal investigation. The company determined that he was not fit to serve as an executive, and removed him from all offices."

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 to clear his name. Amid conflicting reports about his escape, Ghosn 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.

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.