Ghosn vows to clear name at 1st appearance since fleeing Japan

Source:AFP Published: 2020/1/8 22:23:40

Carlos Ghosn Photo: AFP

Fugitive auto tycoon Carlos Ghosn vowed on Wednesday to clear his name as he made his first public appearance at a news conference in Beirut, Lebanon since skipping bail in Japan.

The former Renault-Nissan boss addressed a large crowd of journalists on his reasons for dodging trial in Japan.

Ghosn, who denies any wrongdoing, fled charges of ­financial misconduct including allegedly underreporting his compensation to the tune of $85 million.

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

He said he had been "ripped" from friends and family when arrested.

The 65-year-old arrived in his native Lebanon almost two weeks ago, in the latest shock twist to a gripping saga.

Ghosn's bail jump has prompted outrage from the Japanese government, which has called his escape "unjustifiable," as well as from Japanese automaker Nissan which labelled the getaway "extremely regrettable."

Many were hoping Ghosn would disclose details of his audacious flight from Japan to Beirut via Istanbul - a ­dramatic twist in a story worthy of a ­Hollywood plot. But Ghosn told reporters he was "not here to talk" about how he fled Japan.

According to media, Ghosn slipped out of his house in Tokyo, boarded a bullet train to Osaka and then took a private jet to Istanbul, evading customs by hiding in a box, before reaching Beirut on December 30.

Ghosn says the charges against him stem from a "coup" inside Nissan by disgruntled executives and Japanese officials who feared his plans to more closely integrate the car giant with its alliance partner, French firm Renault.


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