Former Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn participates in an ongoing court battle in allegations of financial misconduct.
Bloomberg | Getty Images
Carlos Ghosn said he would undergo a “fair trial” in France after the latest arrest warrants for a series of accusations filed against disgraceful former car executives were issued.
Gone spoke with CNBC on Friday in Beirut, saying he trusts the French judicial system to treat him correctly, even if he is not treated the same by the media and the wider community.
“I think so. You can get a fair trial,” he told CNBC’s Hadley Gambling.
“I will not be treated fairly, but I will be tried fairly,” he said.
French officials issued an international arrest warrant on Thursday to a former Renault-Nissan executive famous for skipping bail in Japan. Escaped to Lebanon in a box..
The warrant is related to the investigation of a € 15 million ($ 16.2 million) allegation of suspicious payments between Renault and an Omani car dealership during Ghosn’s tenure. Allegations include misappropriation of company assets, corruption and money laundering.
Arrest warrants have also been issued to four others, including the current owner or former director of Suhail Bahwan Automobiles.
This is the latest in a series of accusations filed against a former chief of the automotive industry, who was first arrested in Japan in November 2018 and charged with multiple financial misconduct during Nissan’s operations. Thing. Gone has denied all charges.
Gone said he wasn’t surprised by the arrest warrant on Friday and explained that it was part of a “natural process” for French investigators. But he said he was surprised to find out about it in the newspaper, not from the authorities.
“What surprised me was the fact that I read an American newspaper and learned about it,” he said. The Wall Street Journal, It broke the news on Thursday.
Gone added that the timing of the warrants is “suspicious” given the French presidential election this Sunday.
President Emmanuel Macron and his far-right rival Marine Le Pen take a tough stance on CEO’s rewards for Sunday’s presidential elections as public scrutiny of France’s top bosses’ rewards grows. is showing. The French government is also Renault’s largest shareholder.
When asked about the timing of the arrest warrant, he said he couldn’t guess.
“I don’t know. I can’t guess. Frankly, the timing is questionable. Why do you want to do it today? Why do you do it on Friday? Why can’t you do it on Monday? That means this has been going on for years. That’s it. “
A spokesperson for the French Ministry of Justice, the French government, and the Nanterre Court of Justice, which leads the investigation, were unable to respond immediately when CNBC asked for comment.
Nonetheless, Mr. Gone said he expects the hearing to be independent, regardless of who won.
“Fortunately, in France, justice is somehow independent of political power, but in Japan it is clearly not,” he said. Ghosn has repeatedly criticized the Japanese legal system for keeping track of him on suspicion of financial misdemeanor while he was in control of Nissan.
Meanwhile, Japanese officials have refuted Gone’s allegations and defended the country’s judicial system as follows: “Fair and open” In 2020, the Ministry of Justice of Japan published a 3,000-word article outlining questions and answers regarding the treatment of criminals. A spokesperson for the Japanese Ministry of Justice was unable to respond immediately when CNBC asked for comment.
Gone spokesman said on Friday He would be happy to be tried in France to reveal his name. Still, its feasibility remains questionable.
Ghosn is still subject to a transfer request from Japan and is forbidden to leave Lebanon. His passport is currently held by Lebanese authorities, although the request is unlikely to be approved.
Born in Brazil, Auto Titan grew up in Beirut and is a citizen of Brazil, France and Lebanon.
As a Lebanese citizen, he is protected from handing over.