Carlos Ghosn releases video message protesting innocence

Former Nissan and Renault boss Carlos Ghosn’s lawyers have released a video messages showing him accusing former colleagues of “playing a dirty game”.

Ghosn, who has been charged with a number of financial misconduct offences, was planning to tell the world his side of the story via a press conference this Thursday, and created a Twitter account to inform the public. The next day, however, he was re-arrested by Japanese authorities. 

“If you are listening to me on this video, it means I was not able to make the press conference I scheduled for April 11,” said Ghosn in the message (below). He repeated his claims he is being framed by Nissan executives and is innocent of the charges against him, including understating his income over five years by £34 million. 

It is reported that Ghosn originally named specific colleagues who have taken part in a campaign to ensure his arrest, but his lawyers have since edited the video to remove their names.

The 65-year-old was dismissed from his role as Nissan’s chairman after he was arrested last November. But he officially remained on the firm’s board, until a vote was taken at a meeting in Tokyo today.

Greg Kelly, the former Nissan special director who was arrested at the same time as Ghosn, was also sacked. Renault chairman Jean-Dominique Senard has been added to the board, as part of an effort to stabilise the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi alliance following Ghosn’s arrest.

The decision comes a week after Ghosn, who had previously been released on bail, was detained for a fourth time by Japanese prosecutors over fresh charges that he used Nissan funds for personal benefits.

In a statement released through his lawyer, Ghosn strongly denied the latest charges, calling his arrest “outrageous and arbitrary”. He added: “It is part of another attempt by some individuals at Nissan to silence me by misleading the prosecutors. Why arrest me except to try to break me? I will not be broken.”

Renault reports fresh concerns to authorities

In a further development, Renault’s Ethics and Compliance Department completed its report into Ghosn’s behaviour while heading the French firm.

Renault has previously reported a number of “issues” to French judicial authorities, and its board of directors says it has now reported a number of “potential issues concerning payments made to one of Renault’s distributors in the Middle East”.

The board has also recommended that Ghosn stops receiving his company pension.