Carlos Ghosn's wife appeals to French government for help as tough bail conditions revealed

'You could see the fear in his eyes', as rumours spread of his rearrest last week, Carole Ghosn says

Samuel Osborne
Sunday 07 April 2019 17:00
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Former Nissan chairman Carlos Ghosn accompanied by his wife Carole Ghosn
Former Nissan chairman Carlos Ghosn accompanied by his wife Carole Ghosn

The wife of Nissan‘s former chairman has reportedly left Japan and flown to Paris to appeal to the French government to do more to help him.

Carlos Ghosn was taken back into custody for the fourth time last week, on suspicion he had tried to enrich himself at the car maker’s expense.

It comes as his lawyer outlined the tough conditions for his initial release on bail in a blog post. He said Mr Ghosn will only be allowed to use only one computer, which is in his lawyer’s office, and one phone.

Carole Ghosn meanwhile called on the French government to do more for her husband.

"As a French citizen, it should be a right,” she told the Financial Times. She added: "I don’t think he’s had enough support and he’s calling for assistance."

She said her husband’s previous 108-day imprisonment had left him “a different person” and that normal life under bail conditions had been impossible.

She added that "you could see the fear" in her husband's eyes as rumours of his rearrest spread last week.

Mr Ghosn, who holds French, Lebanese and Brazilian citizenship, has denied the charges against him.

His bail conditions also said he must turn over his passport, have a camera monitoring his apartment doorway and keep a record of his phone calls and people he meets, besides his family and lawyers, according to his lawyer, Takashi Takano.

On Sunday, Japan's public broadcaster NHK said prosecutors suspected Mr Ghosn siphoned off part of the payments through a company where his wife is an executive to purchase a yacht and a boat.

The prosecutors asked her to meet them for voluntary questioning as an unsworn witness, but the request was turned down, which prompted them to ask judges to question her on their behalf, the broadcaster reported.

Such a request gives judges the power to question on a mandatory basis witnesses who refuse to testify.

Prosecutors had reportedly confiscated his wife’s Lebanese passport in a dawn raid on their apartment in central Tokyo, but did not discover her US passport.

“I’m all alone here. It’s traumatising what happened,” she was quoted as saying while awaiting her flight. “If my husband is in detention and I’m here, I won’t be useful. I’m going to France ... and be more useful where I can be.”

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Under Japanese law, prosecutors will be able to hold Mr Ghosn for up to 22 days without charging him. The fresh arrest opens up the possibility that he will be interrogated again without his lawyer present, as is the norm in Japan.

Mr Ghosn faces charges of financial misconduct and aggravated breach of trust over allegedly failing to report around $82m (£63m) in salary and temporarily transferring personal financial losses onto Nissan’s books during the financial crisis.

Released on $9m (£7m) bail on 6 March, the executive says he is the victim of a boardroom coup.

Additional reporting by agencies

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