Monday, 25 March, 2019

Ghosn appears in court, denies shifting personal losses to Nissan:The Asahi Shimbun

Unfairly detained: Ex Nissan boss Ghosn protests innocence Handcuffed and roped up, Carlos Ghosn will address court in person on Tuesday
Priscilla Morrison | 08 January, 2019, 13:42

The statement Ghosn was expected to deliver in a Tokyo courtroom also said that all his actions were taken "with the knowledge and approval of the appropriate executives inside the company".

The embattled vehicle titan will be treated like any other suspect at Tuesday's session, which starts at 10:30am Tokyo time.

Carlos Ghosn said the charges are meritless and unsubstantiated.

Later, Ghosn will be allowed to address the court in English. But neither he nor his lawyers will be allowed to talk to others there such as family members or media.

The hearing is "a dialogue between the lawyer and the judge, and the prosecutor is not required to be present", said Yasuyuki Takai, a former investigator at the unit that arrested Ghosn.

According to a statement released before the hearing to some media, including The Associated Press, by people familiar with the case, Ghosn said he had "acted honourably, legally and with the knowledge and approval of the appropriate executives inside the company with the sole goal of supporting and strengthening Nissan". The legal team is headed by former prosecutor Motonari Otsuru. This happened to Ghosn several times.

According to reports, Ghosn was led into the court in handcuffs and with a rope around his waist, and appeared notably thinner than previously. "With Mitsubishi, this alliance of carmakers was reckoned to be the third largest automaker in the world so there are bigger implications".

The saga has taken twists and turns, with Ghosn re-arrested on fresh, potentially more serious charges on Dec 21 just when it looked like he may be able to apply for bail.

Ghosn also said the contracts were transferred back to him, and that Nissan had not incurred any loss.

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The auto tycoon has seen his detention repeatedly extended and his requests for release denied since his arrest on a first set of allegations of under-reporting his salary.

The case has rattled Nissan's alliance with French automaker Renault SA RENA.PA , where Ghosn still remains chairman and chief executive. But in Paris, his future as head of Renault is increasingly in doubt.

Anthony, who has not spoken to his father, has said Ghosn would be released if he signed a confession.

Renault officials didn't respond to requests for comment. The thinking goes that on the one hand Ghosn deserves a fair treatment and opportunity to defend himself, particularly given his years-long services to Renault.

"Your honour, I am innocent of the accusations against me", he said. "I have nothing in hand that lets me demand Ghosn's departure".

If proven, each of Mr Ghosn's alleged offenses may carry a sentence of as much as 10 years, prosecutors have said.

Carlos Ghosn - you know, formerly of Nissan - isn't guilty.

Mr Macron asked his administration last month to crack down on executives who avoid paying taxes in the country.

Before the hearing, the Khaled Juffali Company issued a statement saying the $14.7 million in payments over four years from Nissan "were for legitimate business purposes in order to support and promote Nissan's business strategy in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and included reimbursement for business expenses".

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