Ex-Nissan chairman, 64, arrested over £60m fraud blames ‘plot and treason’

Ex-Nissan chairman, 64, arrested over £60m fraud blames ‘plot and treason’

In an interview with The Nikkei business daily posted online Wednesday, Ghosn says there is "no doubt" that "plot and treason" were committed by Nissan executives determined to throw off a plan of deeper integration between Nissan and two other vehicle companies.

Former Nissan, Renault and Mitsubishi boss Carlos Ghosn says that charges of financial misconduct brought against him are the result of a "plot" by Nissan executives to stop him further integrating the three alliance partners.

Mr Ghosn, 64, said that he had been denied the opportunity to speak to his wife, Carole, or his children from his first marriage, since being detained more than two months ago.

Asked about his conditions in the detention centre, Ghosn replied that the situation was "up and down" but said his health was "fine".

While both companies repeatedly say they are committed to the partnership, Nissan has always been unhappy about what it considers to be an outsized French role in the alliance.

Ghosn's lawyers have failed to get bail due to the court's concerns he would be a flight risk and also possibly try to hide or destroy evidence. Ghosn countered, stating that the venture was established for "synergy and not for payment", adding that any claims of improper payments were simply a "distortion of reality".

The executive, once feted for his turnaround of the struggling Nissan, has been removed as chairman of the carmaker as well as of Mitsubishi Motors. He has also resigned as chairman and chief executive of French company Renault.

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Currently Nissan controls Mitsubishi Motors via a 34 per cent shareholding, and owns a 15 per cent non-voting stake in Renault.

Nissan Motor Co.'s global sales totalled 5.65 million vehicles past year, while Renault SA of France, which owns 43 per cent of Nissan, recorded global sales of 3.9 million vehicles.

The Japanese business daily quoted Ghosn as saying he had "no doubt" that the charges against him were motivated by Nissan executives opposed to greater integration of the firm with its French alliance partner Renault.

Adding to Nissan's woes, the company reported its first full-year slump in sales in nearly a decade.

He also defended private properties in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and Beirut, Lebanon purchased by Nissan for his use as necessary safe places where he could "work and receive people".

The interview was his first opportunity to defend himself in person after his arrest on November 19 and solitary detention, aside from one public hearing earlier this month. "All the evidence is with Nissan, and Nissan forbids all employees to talk to me".

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