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

BEIRUT (Reuters) - 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'.

Reuters January 15, 2020 03:05:27 IST
Ex-Nissan boss Ghosn says French envoy told him of inside plot

ExNissan boss Ghosn says French envoy told him of inside plot

BEIRUT (Reuters) - 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."

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'."

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)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Updated Date:

TAGS:

also read

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources
| Reuters
World

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources | Reuters

By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States

China's Xi says navy should become world class
| Reuters
World

China's Xi says navy should become world class | Reuters

BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.