Nissan’s ex-CEO Carlos Ghosn declared his innocence in a Tokyo court, saying he was “wrongly accused” of financial misconduct in his first public appearance since his arrest last November.
“I have been wrongly accused and unfairly detained based on meritless and unsubstantiated accusations,” Ghosn told the Tokyo District Court, according to a report from Reuters.
“Contrary to the accusations made by the prosecutors, I never received any compensation from Nissan that was not disclosed, nor did I ever enter into any binding contract with Nissan to be paid a fixed amount that was not disclosed,” Ghosn added.
Carlos Ghosn appeared visibly thinner and handcuffed in front of the court, wearing a dark suit, a rope around his waist and plastic slippers. Nissan’s ex-CEO reportedly lost 10kg (44lbs) in weight during his 50-day detention.
The court hearing was requested by Ghosn’s lawyers in order for the judge to explain the reasons for his prolonged detention. Presiding judge Yuichi Tada said that Ghosn is a possible flight risk and he might have tried to conceal evidence if he wasn’t detained.
Ghosn has been formally charged with under-reporting his compensation and also been arrested, but not indicted yet, on allegations of breach of trust in shifting personal losses of around $17 million to Nissan.
“I believe strongly that in all of my efforts on behalf of the company, I have acted honorably, legally, and with the knowledge and approval of the appropriate executives inside the company,” Ghosn said.
Nissan’s ex-CEO is expected to remain in detention though his trial.