Business World

Thursday 19 September 2019

Wife of ousted Nissan boss Carlos Ghosn returns to Japan to testify

Carlos Ghosn (Takuya Inaba/Kyodo News via AP)
Carlos Ghosn (Takuya Inaba/Kyodo News via AP)

David Dolan

The wife of ousted Nissan boss Carlos Ghosn returned to Japan on Wednesday and intends to testify to Tokyo prosecutors, a source close to her entourage said, days after she left the country to seek help from the French government.

The source, who was speaking on condition of anonymity, said Carole Ghosn would be questioned by authorities as soon as Thursday, confirming a report by the Nikkei newspaper earlier on Wednesday.

Former Nissan chairman Carlos Ghosn. Photo: AP
Former Nissan chairman Carlos Ghosn. Photo: AP
Quizzed: Former Nissan Chairman Carlos Ghosn leaves his lawyer’s office in Tokyo. Photo: AP
Carlos Ghosn (Sadayuki Goto/Kyodo News/AP)
Carlos Ghosn leaves his lawyer’s office in Tokyo (Sadayuki Goto/Kyodo News/AP)

Prosecutors last week arrested the former Nissan chairman for the fourth time on suspicion he tried to enrich himself at the cost of $5 million to the automaker.

Authorities had also wanted to question his wife on suspicion that Ghosn had siphoned off payments through a company where his wife is an executive to purchase a yacht and a boat, public broadcaster NHK has reported.

Ghosn has said he is innocent of all the charges against him and said he is the victim of a boardroom coup.

His wife left Japan last week after Ghosn's arrest, telling the Financial Times she was going to seek help for her spouse, a French citizen. Paris has said it was monitoring the situation.

Prosecutors had earlier seized her Lebanese passport but overlooked her US one, allowing her to leave Japan, the Financial Times said.

The Nikkei reported on Wednesday that she had arrived back in Japan at Tokyo's Haneda airport, with the intention of testifying to prosecutors on Thursday, citing sources. The newspaper quoted her as saying she wanted to tell a court that there was "absolutely nothing illegal".

A spokesman for Ghosn did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

NHK said last week that 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.

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

Read more here: Ghosn’s lawyers appeal to Japan Supreme Court over detention

Video blame: Ghosn blames 'backstabbers' for legal woes Former Nissan chairman Ghosn claims conspiracy led to his arrest


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