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Carlos Ghosn's lawyer says Nissan agreed on transfer of currency contracts, denies financial misconduct charges

Tokyo: Nissan Motor Co had agreed with former chairman Carlos Ghosn to take on his personal foreign exchange contracts, his lawyer said, disputing allegations of financial misconduct.

Ghosn has been arrested on allegations including aggravated breach of trust in shifting personal investment losses worth 1.85 billion yen ($17 million) to the carmaker during the 2008–2009 financial crisis. Earlier on Tuesday, Ghosn declared his innocence to a Tokyo court.

 Carlos Ghosns lawyer says Nissan agreed on transfer of currency contracts, denies financial misconduct charges

File image of Carlos Ghosn. Reuters

Motonari Otsuru, head of Ghosn’s Japan-based legal team, told reporters at a news conference that the agreement with Nissan was based on the condition that any losses or gains from the currency swap contracts would be Ghosn’s.

Earlier in the day, Ghosn declared he was innocent in his first public appearance since his arrest in November, telling a Tokyo court that he was wrongly accused of financial misconduct.

“I have been wrongly accused and unfairly detained based on meritless and unsubstantiated accusations,” he told the Tokyo District Court, according to a prepared statement which was obtained by Reuters.

“Contrary to the accusations made by the prosecutors, I never received any compensation from Nissan that was not disclosed, nor did I ever enter into any binding contract with Nissan to be paid a fixed amount that was not disclosed.”

Ghosn, credited with rescuing Nissan from near-bankruptcy two decades ago, appeared thinner than before his arrest as he entered a court in handcuffs and a rope around his waist. He wore a suit without a tie, and his dark hair showed grey roots.

A crowd of journalists and television crew gathered outside the court house while earlier, 1,122 people lined up for 14 court seats assigned by lottery, highlighting the level of public interest in the case of the once-feted executive.

The hearing, requested by his lawyers, was held to explain the reasons for his prolonged detention since his 19 November arrest. Presiding Judge Yuichi Tada read out the charges and said Ghosn was being detained due to flight risk and the possibility that he may conceal evidence.

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Updated Date: Jan 08, 2019 15:39:30 IST