Ghosn claims Japanese prosecutors treated him "brutally"

Ghosn claims Japanese prosecutors treated him "brutally"

Carlos Ghosn, speaking publicly for the first since his escape from Japanese justice, told reporters in Beirut he had been treated "brutally" by Tokyo prosecutors he accused of helping Nissan to oust him as chairman.

According to a Reuters report, the former Nissan CEO told a packed news conference in Lebanon on Wednesday (8 January) he was not confident he would face a fair trial had he remained in Japan.

He fled Japan last month where he was awaiting trial on charges of under reporting earnings, breach of trust and misappropriation of company funds, all of which he denies.

Ghosn said he had fled to Lebanon to clear his name.

"You are going to die in Japan or you are going to have to get out," Ghosn said, according to Reuters.

"I felt like the hostage of a country I served for 17 years."

Reuters noted some Japanese media had been excluded from the briefing.

"The charges against me are baseless," Ghosn added, repeating his allegation that Nissan and Japanese authorities colluded to oust him following a downturn in Nissan's fortunes and in revenge for French government interference in the carmaker's alliance with Renault.

"Why have they extended the investigation timeline, why have they rearrested me? Why were they so intent on preventing me from talking and setting out my facts?" Ghosn said of the Japanese authorities.

"Why have they spent 14 months trying to break my spirit, barring any contact with my wife?"

Reuters noted Tokyo prosecutors on Tuesday had issued an arrest warrant for Ghosn's wife, Carole, for alleged perjury.

Japan's Ministry of Justice has said it would try to find a way to bring Ghosn back from Lebanon, even though it has no extradition treaty with Japan, the report said.

Turkish and Japanese authorities are investigating how Ghosn was smuggled out to Beirut and  Interpol has issued a 'red notice' seeking his arrest.

According to the Financial Times, current and former Nissan executives named by Ghosn as involved in the 'plot' to oust him are: Hiroto Saikawa, Nissan's CEO at the time, Toshiaki Onuma a former senior Nissan administrator, Hari Nada, Nissan's former head of legal, Masakazu Toyoda, the former Japanese trade ministry official who heads Nissan's nomination committee, Hidetoshi Imazu, a former internal auditor and  Hitoshi Kawaguchi, an ex-executive who was in charge of government relations.

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