The former chairman of Nissan, Carlos Ghosn, at a recent press conference said that he was 'ripped' from his family and friends by Japenese prosecutors. On January 8, Ghosn spoke at his first press conference since he was arrested in November 2018 and since he skipped bail and fled to Lebanon last month. He further described his arrest in Japan as a plot against him and his detention conditions as 'travesty' against human rights.
While speaking at the news conference he said that fleeing was the most 'difficult' decision of his life and he was 'brutally' taken away from his world. However, he also added that because he was 'presumed guilty' before the eyes of the world, he had no choice but to flee. He also portrayed his arrest as a plot linked to a decline in the financial performance of Nissan and he had also been in favour of merging Nissan with industry all Renault.
Ghosn said, “One reason was that Nissan performance, unfortunately, started to decline at the beginning of 2017 and in October 2016, I decided to remove myself from Nissan because I signed a deal with Mitsubishi. I moved to Mitsubishi as chairman of the board”. He further added that the investigation was “initiated and carried out for the specific, predetermined purpose of taking down Carlos Ghosn to prevent him from further integrating Nissan and Renault”.
He also claimed that he was interrogated for up to eight hours a day without any lawyers present. Ghosn's improbable escape had perplexed and embarrassed Japanese authorities as he skipped bails and managed to flee the country despite supposedly rigorous surveillance. According to international media reports, the fugitive used bullet train and a private jet to escape Japan. He was awaiting trial in Japan on financial misconduct charges and was not allowed to contact his wife but she reportedly played an important role in planning his escape.
Japanese tax officials had found out that the former Nissan executive diverted corporate money for his private use. The National Tax Agency of Japan had reached the conclusion that Ghosn made donations to a Lebanese University and paid consultant’s fees to his sister using Nissan money. The tax agency had ordered Nissan to pay taxes on the 150 million yen, which was recorded as office expenses for three years since they determined that money was spent for private purpose.
Carlos Ghosn served as chairman and CEO of Renault as well as chairman of Mitsubishi Motors. He was also the chairman of the Renault–Nissan–Mitsubishi Alliance, a strategic partnership between the automobile manufacturers. It is said that Ghosn was working on strengthening Nissan’s relationship with Renault when he got arrested in November last year.