TOKYO: The wife of former Nissan boss Carlos Ghosn arrived at a Tokyo court Thursday for a closed-door hearing to answer questions over her husband’s alleged financial misconduct, according to local media.
Carole Ghosn has increasingly emerged as a key figure in the case surrounding her tycoon husband, who is in detention facing multiple allegations of financial malpractice.
Contacted by AFP, the office of Ghosn’s lawyer in Tokyo and the Tokyo district court both declined to comment on the ongoing investigation.
Japanese authorities are investigating claims that Carlos Ghosn siphoned off around US$5 million of Nissan funds for his personal use.
Prosecutors believe this money was taken from around US$15 million transferred from Nissan to a dealership in Oman between 2015 and 2018.
According to a source close to the matter, some of the US$5 million was funnelled to a British Virgin Islands-listed company – which has Carole Ghosn registered as president – to purchase a luxury yacht.
The boat, 37 metres (120 feet) long and weighing nearly 300 tons, is worth more than 12 million euros (US$13.5 million), according to this source, who asked to remain anonymous.
Carlos Ghosn denies all allegations made against him and slammed “backstabbing” Nissan executives in a video message aired Tuesday, during which he said he was a victim of a “plot” from those who feared he would tie Nissan closer to its French partner Renault.
Prosecutors have until April 14 to question the auto sector legend after which they can apply for a further 10-day period of custody.
Ghosn already faces three formal charges: two of under-reporting of his salary in official financial documents, and a further charge of seeking to shift investment losses to the firm.
He has not been formally charged with any allegations linked to the Oman case.
Carole Ghosn left Japan last week using an American passport after Japanese police confiscated her Lebanese passport.
She returned late Wednesday to Japan to meet authorities – “proof that she never intended to run away from anybody”, according to the couple’s lawyer Francois Zimeray.