Fugitive Tycoon Ghosn Vows to Clear Name, Hits Out at Japan

Fugitive from Japanese justice Carlos Ghosn says his wife Carole played no part in his escape

Fugitive from Japanese justice Carlos Ghosn says his wife Carole played no part in his escape

Told by his lawyers that he might be held in Japan for five years, he said "It was not hard to come to the conclusion that you are going to die in Japan or you need to get out".

Japanese reports Tuesday gave new details of that escape. He met two men at a hotel, and then took a bullet train to Osaka before boarding a private jet, hidden inside a musical equipment case. After arriving in Istanbul, he took another small jet to Beirut.

The perjury arrest warrant accuses Carole Ghosn of falsely claiming not to know, or to have met, people connected to a company that received payments from Nissan Motor, part of which it subsequently transferred to a firm owned by Ghosn.

"Unfortunately there was no trust".

Earlier, he said the allegations against him were concocted by Nissan, Japanese authorities and others who wanted to block efforts toward a fuller merger between Nissan and its French alliance partner Renault SA. "This time, the day before he is announced to speak out freely for the first time, they issued an arrest warrant for his wife Carole Ghosn", the spokeswoman said. Ghosn said he had fled to Lebanon to clear his name.

The former chairman of Nissan said that he had been treated "brutally" by Tokyo prosecutors, accusing them of conspiring with the Japanese auto maker to remove him from his position.

Interpol has issued a "red notice" seeking his arrest.

"I did not escape justice, I fled injustice and persecution, political persecution", he said.

Prohibited from seeing his wife, Carole, over the holiday season though, Ghosn was driven to abscond Japan following a pretrial hearing on Christmas.

One day earlier, with the executive's planned news conference looming, prosecutors also obtained an arrest warrant for Ghosn's wife, Carole, for allegedly committing perjury a year ago.

The second wife of the former Nissan boss, who like him also has Lebanese citizenship, vocally led the campaign for her husband's freedom but what role she played in his epic escape from Japan remains unclear.

Lebanese Justice Minister Albert Serhan says Ghosn entered Lebanon legally, and added that his "stay on Lebanese territories" is legal.

As widely expected, Ghosn reiterated his innocence over alleged financial misconduct and suggested there was a government-backed coup to oust him from the automaker.

"And some of our Japanese friends thought that the only way to get rid of Renault in Nissan is to get rid of me", Ghosn said.

Mr Ghosn faces charges of financial misconduct.

In this May 11, 2012, file photo, then Nissan Motor Co.

In a wide-ranging presentation, Ghosn talked about his Marie Antoinette-themed wedding party at the Palace of Versailles in France and described his confinement in Tokyo's main jail and the investigation launched against him. The two carmakers recommended legal action in the Netherlands, where the alliance is based and ordering Ghosn himself to reimburse the company for some of the expenses.

Ghosn said he was "presumed guilty" and had "no choice" but to jump bail.

"'It will get worse for you if you don't just confess, ' the prosecutor told me repeatedly", he said at the news conference.

An hour before the scheduled press conference, a Lebanese prosecutor said Ghosn will be summoned "in the coming hours" over a visit to Israel more than 10 years ago, according to the state-run National News Agency.

Aoun's office said Okubo called for cooperation from Lebanese officials in order to avoid diplomatic problems between the two countries.

What we find regrettable is that, when asked by a reporter if there are plans to make a movie of all of this, Ghosn replied that "no contract has been signed with Netflix".

And three lawyers in Lebanon submitted a report to the public prosecutor on Thursday demanding that the businessman be prosecuted for a trip he made to Israel in 2008.

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