Carlos Ghosn appeared in a Tokyo court in Japan this Tuesday, were he denied any wrongdoing and declared his innocence reading from a written statement:
“Your honor, I am innocent of the accusations against me. I have been wrongly accused and unfairly detained based on meritless and unsubstantiated accusations. I believe strongly that in all of my efforts on behalf of the company, I have acted honorably, legally and with the knowledge and approval of the appropriate executives inside the company.”
Prosecutors accused Ghosn of falsifying financial reports by under-reporting his income by about 5 billion yen ($44 million) over five years through 2015, as well as transferring personal investment losses from the financial crisis to Nissan. It seems that after his arrest November the international auto industry was extremely shaken, and so was the alliance he built between Nissan, Renault and Mitsubishi Motors (MMTOF).
The court hearing was apparently requested by Ghosn and his team of lawyers in order to seek an explanation for his prolonged detention since his arrest on November 19th. The presiding judge Yuichi Tada stated he is being detained on being considered a flight risk and the possibility he could be concealing evidence.
As such, during the hearing, his lawyers argued he is not a flight risk due to the fact he is “widely known so it’s difficult for him to escape. There is no risk that the suspect will destroy evidence.” Therefore, his lawyers have requested the Tokyo District Court to end his detention, and they are now waiting for a reply from the court that could come on Wednesday, according to Masato Oshikubo, one of Ghosn’s lawyers.
Meanwhile, Nissan’s Representative Director Greg Kelly, an American, was also arrested and charged with conspiring to under-report Ghosn’s income but was released on Christmas Day after posting a bail of 70 million yen, about $640,000. However, Kelly denies the allegations, and his wife says he was wrongly accused as part of a power grab by Nissan executives targeting Ghosn.