The ex-CEO of Nissan-Renault-Mitsubishi Alliance Carlos Ghosn began his press conference on Wednesday, January 8, by saying that he is proud to be Lebanese and that Lebanon was the only country that stood by him through his hard time.
“These are my first moments of freedom,” Ghosn began saying. “I spent Christmas and New Year of 2019 alone last year. I could only receive messages from behind the glass via my lawyer.”
The Lebanese-French tycoon insisted that he did not have one moment of freedom since 19 November 2018 and that, because he was refrained from defending himself publicly, it was easy to frame him or accuse him of saying things he didn’t say.
“Today, I will reveal the whole truth. I am here to clear my image in front of the world and explain what happened. The accusations are not true and I was not supposed to be detained in the first place.”
“I spent 180 days in a solitary cell in prison. There were no windows; I didn’t know my day from my night and I was only allowed 30 minutes of fresh air a day. I was only allowed to shower twice a week, and I was not given all the medication I needed. I was prohibited from contacting my family.”
“I was interrogated every day for eight hours without the presence of a lawyer, and I was told that the trial will take five years at least in Japan. I did not have many choices; either die in Japan or escape it.”
He continued: “I was arrested for compensation that had not been paid to me yet, and an arrest warrant was issued against my wife for an announcement I made 9 months ago.”
Ghosn revealed that he was submitted to judicial misconducts, saying: “We have a list of all charges and inappropriate behavior by the prosecution. One of my defense attorneys in Japan told me: ‘Do not think that this case will be canceled because this never happened in the history of the Japanese judiciary.'”
The business guru went on explaining the reasons why he was unjustly detained and arrested, accusing former Nissan executives along with members of the Japanese government of framing him into false accusations.
Although he mentioned the names of the executives, he did not mention the names of those involved in the Japanese government so as to not affect the relations between Lebanon and Japan.
He proceeded to say: “I was held hostage by a state that I served for 17 years and revitalized a company that could not be revived. I was put under pressure during investigations in Japan, and I was threatened with my family.”
“The judicial system should not rely on the idea of revenge. I was in a solitary that contradicts international justice laws guaranteed in accordance with human rights principles,” he said.
Ghosn insisted that he respects Lebanon and the hospitality he was given by the people and by the state, adding: “I will remain silent and will not do anything that might negatively affect the Lebanese authorities, and I will not announce anything that harms Lebanese-Japanese interests.”
Ghosn dodged questions about the logistics of his escape, which he pulled off despite strict bail conditions including a requirement that he stay in the country.
Watch the video of his press conference and all that he had to say: