Carlos Ghosn Held Press Conference, Described Himself as a “Hostage” In Japan

He fled to Lebanon on 29 December.


he former Nissan boss Carlos Ghosn has said the decision to flee Japan, where he was charged with financial misconduct, was the most difficult of his life.

Speaking at a highly anticipated news conference, Mr Ghosn described himself as a “hostage” in the country with a choice between dying there or running.

He claimed prosecutors had tried to break his spirit by barring any contact with his wife, Carole.

The former Nissan and Renault executive told the room of packed with journalists from across the globe, that his treatment in Japan failed to meet international standards of justice.

In prison, Mr Ghosn said he was kept in a cell with a small window and only allowed to shower twice a week. He also claimed to have spent 130 days in a windowless cell while in solitary confinement.

‘Brutally taken’

Mr Ghosn said he was interrogated for up to eight hours a day without having any lawyers present and described his “feeling of hopelessness” as “profound”.

“I was brutally taken from my work as I knew it, ripped from my work, my family and my friends,” he said.

It is the first time Mr Ghosn has spoken publicly since he fled house arrest in Japan. He did not give details of his dramatic escape, despite widespread speculation over how he managed to leave the country undetected nad reports that it involved hiding in a musical instrument case. He said providing more information would compromise people who had helped him.

Instead he expressed his “profound appreciation to be able to be reunited with my family and loved ones.”

‘Only himself to blame’

In a statement released after the press conference, prosecutors in Japan said: “Ghosn’s allegations completely ignore his own conduct, and his one-sided criticism of the Japanese criminal justice system is totally unacceptable,” the statement said.

Mr Ghosn “only has himself to blame for being arrested and detained” it said.

Prosecutors allege that Mr Ghosn made a multi-million-dollar payment to a Nissan distributor in Oman. Nissan, meanwhile, has filed its own criminal complaint against Mr Ghosn, accusing him of diverting money from the company for his own personal enrichment.

He is also accused of under-reporting his own salary.

Mr Ghosn insists that he is innocent of all charges made against him.


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