January 27, 2021

Carlos Ghosn leaves prison after 108 days, unnoticed under a disguise

Carlos Ghosn leaves prison after 108 days, unnoticed under a disguise

The ex-president of Nissan Carlos Ghosn left on Wednesday released on bail after 108 days detained, practically unnoticed under a disguise: a work overalls, blue cap, glasses and a sanitary mask that covered his face.

The French-Brazilian businessman, who turns 65 this Saturday, left after 4:00 p.m. (7:00 GMT), when he closes the reception of the correctional ward of the Tokyo neighborhood of Kosuge to which he was transferred after his arrest on November 19, 2018.

Shortly before the "getaway", his wife, Carole Ghosn, and one of his daughters came to the penitentiary for what would be his first meeting with the manager since his arrest.

The departure of Ghosn went unnoticed by the more than 200 journalists concentrated in front of the center, some since Tuesday, when the Tokyo District Court approved his release, and only the strong security device that surrounded him raised suspicions.

The businessman climbed into a small gray truck that was parked at the door, with a ladder of work on the roof, while the cameras tried to capture the moment amid a great confusion because it could not be confirmed if it was Ghosn.

The photographs left no room for doubt and several helicopters deployed by local media began a pursuit of the vehicle, which was followed by a dozen motorcycles.

A little more than an hour later the van stopped at a building in the Chiyoda district, apparently the office of one of the members of his legal team, where Ghosn agreed without his attire and smiling, as captured by the television cameras.

The release of Ghosn occurred about three hours after paying the 1 billion yen (7.9 million euros or 8.9 million dollars) of his bail, which allows him to leave prison after more than three months under strict surveillance measures.

Among the requirements of the court, Ghosn will put his passport at the disposal of his lawyers and will not be able to leave Japan, you must install a security camera at the entrance of your residence, your communications by telephone will be restricted and you can only use a computer in the office of your lawyers during the week.

For the also former president of Renault and Mitsubishi to the third was the vanquished. The court had denied the two previous petitions filed by his former lawyer, Motonari Ohtsuru, arguing a possible escape or destruction of evidence.

In mid-February, Ghosn decided to change his defense strategy and replace Ohtsuru, former head of special investigations of the Tokyo prosecution, Junichiro Hironaka, recognized for his success in cases involving high-profile personalities.

On Monday, Hironaka was confident of achieving the freedom of the giant of the automotive business "as soon as possible." The approval of the release occurred the next day.

The lawyer considers that the charges that weigh on Ghosn have "peculiar" or "doubtful" points that, in his opinion, could "make it possible" for the former president of Nissan Motor to be victorious at the trial, which is expected to begin in the fall.

The executive is accused of hiding from the authorities of the country millionaire compensation allegedly agreed with Nissan Motor and violate the confidence of the company for the alleged use of funds to cover personal financial losses, in addition to making apparently unjustified payments to a Saudi businessman.

Ghosn pleaded innocent of all these charges in his first appearance before a court in January and this same Tuesday, after learning that he had been granted bail, reiterated his innocence and was "resolutely determined" to defend himself "with force" of accusations that he considers "without any foundation".

The businessman has pointed out in several interviews granted from the detention center that his imprisonment is part of a "plot" against him mounted by Nissan executives when he tried to deepen the alliance with Renault and Mitsubishi Motors. EFE


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