Ghosn to mount vigorous defence at hearing, son tells newspaper

Nissan Motor Co.’s former chairman, Carlos Ghosn. (Bloomberg pic)

PARIS: Nissan Motor Co.’s former chairman Carlos Ghosn, indicted on suspicion of violating Japan’s financial reporting laws, will mount a “vigorous defence” at his first hearing Monday, his son, Anthony, told France’s Journal Du Dimanche in an interview.

Carlos Ghosn will attend a hearing of the Tokyo district court Monday after his legal team requested an explanation of why his detention has been repeatedly extended since he was taken into custody Nov 19.

“Everyone will be pretty surprised to hear his version of the story,” Anthony Ghosn told the newspaper. “Until now, we have only heard the accusation.”

But Anthony Ghosn says his father faces a paradox: confess to crimes of which he is innocent or remain in detention. It is quite common for prosecutors to keep people in detention for months or even years, he said.

“When the only condition for his release is a confession, you want to find a solution to end this nightmare,” Anthony Ghosn told the newspaper.

While Carlos Ghosn was indicted on allegations of under-reporting his compensation, the length of detention and lack of clarity on the case has drawn criticism. Ghosn was initially held without charge for longer than would be permitted in the UK for a suspected terrorist.

The executive was re-arrested on fresh, potentially more serious charges Dec 21 just when it looked like he may be able to apply for bail. Prosecutors have accused him of transferring personal trading losses to Nissan, but are yet to indict him on this allegation. In Japan, indictment paves the way for prosecutors to lay formal charges.

His detention was last extended Dec 31, putting him behind bars until at least Jan 11.