Fugitive ex-Nissan boss Ghosn says treated ruthlessly by Japan


Former Nissan chairman Carlos Ghosn attends a news conference at the Lebanese Press Syndicate in Beirut, Lebanon January 8, 2020. REUTERS/Mohamed Azakir

BEIRUT (Reuters) – Former Nissan chief Carlos Ghosn said on Wednesday he had been treated brutally and ruthlessly by Japanese prosecutors, who threatened to take action against his family if he didn’t confess to their accusations.

The one-time auto industry star fled Japan last month where he was awaiting trial on charges of under reporting earnings, breach of trust and misappropriation of company funds, all of which he denies.

Tokyo prosecutors on Tuesday issued an arrest warrant for his wife, Carol Ghosn, for alleged perjury.

Japan’s Ministry of Justice has said it will try to find a way to bring Ghosn back from Lebanon, where he held his first press conference on Wednesday since his initial arrest in November 2018, even though it has no extradition treaty with Japan.

Turkish and Japanese authorities are investigating how Ghosn was smuggled out to Beirut. Interpol has issued a “red notice” seeking his arrest.

Ghosn’s news conference marks the latest twist in a 14-month saga that has shaken the global car industry, jeopardized the alliance of Nissan and top shareholder Renault and increased scrutiny of Japan’s judicial system.

Reporting by Samia Nakhoul and Eric Knecht in Beirut, and Tim Kelly in Tokyo; editing by Mark Potter

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