BEIJING, Aug. 8 (Xinhua) — Former Nissan Chairman Ghosn, in a statement issued by his lawyer ahead of the highly anticipated press conference, lashed out at Nissan, accusing the company of using a “flawed and biased” internal investigation to orchestrate his arrest to prevent him from more closely integrating Nissan and its French alliance partner Renault.
Mr. Ghosn’s legal team issued the statement hours before the expected press conference, trying to focus on Mr. Ghosn’s allegations against Nissan that he was the victim of a coup by Nissan’s top brass, which opposes handing more power to Renault.
Nissan’s claim of a “robust and thorough internal investigation” was a “serious distortion of the truth,” the statement said. Instead, the investigation “was initiated and carried out for a specific, intended purpose, to remove Carlos Ghosn from office, in order to prevent him from further integrating Nissan and Renault, which threatened Nissan’s independence.” “
Mr. Ghosn will hold a news conference in Beirut at 3 p.m. local time (9 p.m. Beijing time) on Wednesday. A week ago, he fled from Japan to Beirut on a private jet, and in a brief statement issued upon his arrival, Mr. Ghosn hinted that he would reveal those he believed were responsible for his downfall, including Japanese government officials.
With The Ghosn press conference just around the way, the shock of Ghosn’s escape is turning into fear among Nissan executives. The company’s profits are at a decade-low, its share price has plummeted and it is fraught with internal divisions along the way. Now Mr Ghosn is free to speak and has potentially damaging information about current Nissan executives.
What does he think of hiroto Saikawa, his proud disciple and successor? Mr. Nishikawa condemned Mr. Goen on the night of his arrest, and he has since been forced to leave the Nissan. Mr. Ghosn threatened to identify who was in the Japanese government and how they got involved. And how did Ghosn escape? All of this is likely to be revealed at press conferences.
From day one, Mr Ghosn blamed his downfall on unidentified Nissan executives. In his first interview at prison since his arrest, Mr. Ghosn accused a group of senior managers of involvement in a conspiracy against him to block a merger with Reynolds, though he did not give his name.
In April last year, Mr. Ghosn accused Nissan of doing so in a video released by his lawyer as “a knife in the back,” Mr. Ghosn said in a pre-recorded video. “I’m talking about executives who are clearly creating a lot of value for their own benefit and selfish fear. Name? You know them. “
Ghosn initially mentioned specific names in the video, but they were removed from the final version by Ghosn’s lawyers because of the sensitivity of the position at the time. Now that Ghosn is in a safer Lebanon, he is free to speak.
Some are predictable. Mr. Nishikawa, who is carrying Mr. Ghosn’s inquiry, is likely to bear most of the wrath of his former boss. Then there are Toshiaki Onuma and Hari Nada, key figures at Nissan, who reached a plea deal with prosecutors before Ghosn’s arrest. Hitoshi Kawaguchi, a former head of government affairs, is a central figure between the carmaker and the Japanese government.
In his statement Wednesday, Mr. Ghosn singled out Hari Nada, saying that his own conduct was also the subject of an investigation and that he should not be responsible for the investigation into Mr. Ghosn.
Japanese government officials
In an interview with Fox Business News last week, Mr. Ghosn said he would speak at a press conference about the Japanese government behind the arrest and prosecution of the whole affair. He also called the whole thing a “coup” within Nissan.
Those who may be waiting to hear their names verified may include Japan’s minister of economy, industry and industry at the time of Mr Ghosn’s arrest, and Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga. The two men are also at the heart of any negotiations surrounding the Nissan-Renault merger.
Japan’s ruling Liberal Democratic Party has signalled its concern over Mr Ghosn’s comments. Yoshihiko Ono, a former defense minister and senior party official, said Japan should be concerned about the impact of the upcoming “attacks” and that Mr. Ghosn would use Japan’s reputation to calm them. “These statements will spread to the world and do great damage to Japan.
Mr Ono told Bloomberg that Japan should worry not only about Mr Ghosn’s escape, but also about the impact of his comments.
Japan’s judicial system
In a brief statement after arriving in Lebanon, Mr. Ghosn said he was not fleeing justice, but fleeing Japan’s “rigged” justice system and “political persecution.” In this system, the presumption of guilt is practised, discrimination is rampant and basic human rights are denied.
Ghosn also protested the bail conditions set by Japanese courts, including not being able to leave the country and not being able to see his wife, Carol. Mr Ghosn told Fox he was willing to let any court hear his case, as long as it was not in Japan, and said he was “disturbed” by the “unfairness” of the Japanese justice system.
In the interview, Mr. Ghosn’s wife, Carol, attacked the French government for not doing more to help the former renault president, who is also a French citizen.
In an interview with the Sunday Times, she said French President Emmanuel Macron did not respond to his request for help. “I think France is a country that defends the presumption of innocence. They all forgot what Ghosn had done for the French economy and Renault. “