Mon, Apr 08, 2019 - Page 5 News List

Ghosn’s wife exits Japan to appeal to French officials

Reuters, TOKYO

The wife of former Nissan boss Carlos Ghosn has left Japan and flown to Paris to appeal to the French government to do more to help him, the Financial Times (FT) reported yesterday.

Japanese prosecutors arrested Ghosn for a fourth time on Thursday on suspicion he had tried to enrich himself at the automaker’s expense, in another dramatic twist that his lawyers said was an attempt to muzzle him.

“I think the French government should do more for him. I don’t think he’s had enough support and he’s calling for assistance. As a French citizen, it should be a right,” Carole Ghosn told the FT in an interview before boarding a flight out of Japan late on Friday.

She said her husband’s previous 108-day imprisonment had left him “a different person” and that normal life under bail conditions had been impossible.

“You could see the fear in his eyes,” as rumors of his rearrest spread last week, she was quoted as saying.

Ghosn, who holds French, Lebanese and Brazilian citizenship, has denied charges against him and called on the French government for help.

Tokyo prosecutors, Ghosn’s lawyer and his spokesperson were not immediately available for comment.

The Japan Broadcasting Corp (NHK) yesterday that prosecutors suspected Ghosn siphoned off part of the payments through a company where his wife is an executive to purchase a yacht and a boat.

The prosecutors asked her to meet them for voluntary questioning as an unsworn witness, but the request was turned down, which prompted them to ask judges to question her on their behalf, NHK reported.

Such a request gives judges the power to question on a mandatory basis witnesses who refuse to testify, NHK said.

The FT said prosecutors had confiscated his wife’s Lebanese passport in a dawn raid on their apartment in central Tokyo on Thursday morning, but did not discover her US passport.

“I’m all alone here. It’s traumatizing what happened,” she was quoted as saying while awaiting her flight. “If my husband is in detention and I’m here, I won’t be useful. I’m going to France … and be more useful where I can be.”

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