Ex-Nissan boss Ghosn finally allowed to talk to wife after 7 months

Carole Ghosn (right) criticises Japanese legal system, wants husband repatriated to France. (AFP pic)

TOKYO: Former auto executive Carlos Ghosn, who is awaiting trial in Japan under strict bail conditions, was allowed to speak with his wife, Carole, for the first time since April.

The Ghosn couple got permission from a Japanese court for a one-hour exchange on Friday, according to a family spokeswoman, adding that they don’t know when they will be able to speak again.

Ghosn is in Tokyo in the presence of his lawyers. The conversation was limited to topics defined by the judge and will be reviewed by Japanese prosecutors, the spokeswoman said.

Carlos Ghosn was released on bail in April under strict conditions including that he remain in Tokyo and have no contact with Carole, who was in New York during their video conference.

The former head of the automaking alliance between Nissan Motor Co, Renault SA and Mitsubishi Motors Corp is facing four charges, including under-reporting his compensation and aggravated breach of trust. He has denied any wrongdoing.

Carole was banned from seeing her husband, and has publicly criticised the Japanese legal system since his November 2018 arrest.

She has called for her husband to be repatriated to France, where he is a citizen, because she says he won’t get a fair hearing in Tokyo. What is likely to be Japan’s biggest-ever corporate trial is set to begin as soon as April.

“Carlos Ghosn will continue to call for the total lifting of these excessive, cruel and inhuman prohibitions in order to ensure that his fundamental rights and those of his wife are respected,” according to a statement from the family spokeswoman.