Former Nissan and Renault CEO Carlos Ghosn has managed to send his first public address since he was arrested late last year.
In a seven-minute video shown to reporters in Tokyo by his legal team, the former executive lashed out at “backstabbing” former colleagues. He says they conspired to take him down as Nissan chairman, threatening the automaker’s future in the process.
Ghosn, who has fresh allegations brought against him on a regular basis, recorded the video the day before he was taken into custody again. The former executive was re-arrested on April 4 after being out on a $9 million bail for 30 days. That came in the wake of Japanese prosecutors’ latest accusations that he used company funds to enrich himself by $5 million.
“This is not about greed or dictatorship, this is about a plot, this is about a conspiracy, this is about backstabbing. I am innocent of all the charges that have been brought against me,” Ghosn says in the video.
The former boss of the Renault Nissan Alliance claims he is the victim of internal rivalries and a Japanese judicial system intent on forcing a confession. No names are pronounced in the video, however, as his team of lawyers had to edit them out due to legal concerns, according to Reuters.
Ghosn believes that the conspiracy to oust him as CEO was provoked by concerns that he would integrate Nissan and Renault on a deeper level.
“There was fear that the next step of the alliance in terms of convergence and in terms of moving toward a merger, would in a certain way threaten some people or eventually threaten the autonomy of Nissan,” he said.
Remarkably for a man that has spent 108 days in a Tokyo detention center, Carlos Ghosn seemed to be more concerned with Nissan’s fate than his own. He called the current lack of leadership “very sickening” and blamed the automaker’s management for three profit warnings and the scandal involving improper vehicle inspections in Japan.
It will be interesting to see what Nissan management’s reaction to Ghosn’s video, which you can watch right below, will be – but this story is definitely far from over.