9th April 2019 - Former Nissan Motor Co. Chairman Carlos Ghosn said that “conspiracy” by “a few executives” at Nissan lies behind his arrest for alleged financial misconduct, in a video message released by his lawyers today.

Ghosn, wearing a black jacket and a white shirt with his hands clasped in front, asserted his innocence on all of his “biased” charges of financial misconduct in the message, which was recorded while he was released on bail and shortly before his rearrest Thursday over fresh allegations.

“I’m talking here about a few executives who, obviously for their own interest and for their own selfish fears, are creating a lot of value destruction,” the 65-year-old Ghosn said in the message lasting more than seven minutes.

“We’re talking about people who really played a very dirty game into what’s happening,” he said. Before the latest arrest, he had tweeted he would hold a news conference on Thursday “to tell the truth about what’s happening.”

Since his arrest in November, Ghosn has lost the chairmanship posts at Nissan and at its partners Renault SA and Mitsubishi Motors Corp. He also resigned as CEO of Renault.

Yesterday, Nissan removed him from his final remaining post as a board member, putting an official end to his nearly two decades of leadership.

His arrest came as a result of a plea bargain deal struck between Nissan executives and prosecutors. The automaker has also launched an internal investigation over his alleged use of company assets and funds for personal purposes.

“This is about a plot, this is about conspiracy, this is about backstabbing, that is what we’re talking about,” Ghosn said, noting that the “few executives” at Nissan felt threatened about the autonomy of the company due to a possible convergence or merger with Renault.

Former Nissan chairman Carlos Ghosn pleading his innocence on video

Former Nissan chairman Carlos Ghosn pleading his innocence on video

Ghosn, who was credited with saving Nissan from the brink of bankruptcy in the late 1990s and building one of the world’s largest auto groups, also expressed worries about the future of the company, whose sales have been sagging and business outlooks downgraded.

“I don’t think there is any vision for the alliance being built. Frankly, sitting down around the table, being consensual about decisions, this is not a vision in an industry which is as competitive as the current industry,” Ghosn said.

In a press conference where the video message was shown, one of Ghosn’s lawyers, Junichiro Hironaka, said the defense team removed the names of Nissan executives Ghosn mentioned from the footage. Ghosn agreed to cut that part of his statement, Hironaka said.

Prosecutors last week served a fourth arrest warrant on Ghosn in connection with the misuse of Nissan money paid to an Omani distributor, Suhail Bahwan Automobiles. Part of the money was channeled to a company run by Ghosn’s wife Carole.

Carole Ghosn, who had her Lebanese passport, personal computer and mobile phone taken by Japanese prosecutors at the time of Ghosn’s latest arrest, has left Japan but has agreed to pre-trial questioning by prosecutors, Hironaka said.

“There were no legitimate reasons for the confiscation at a time when (Carole) was not even a suspect. The way they treated her was also inhumane,” Hironaka said.

Hironaka said the defense team will file an appeal with the Supreme Court on Wednesday against the Tokyo District Court’s decision to detain Ghosn.  ”My big hope, my biggest wish is to have a fair trial,” Ghosn said.