Carlos Ghosn appeared at the Tokyo District Court on Tuesday morning to hear an explanation for his ongoing detention.
The former Nissan boss arrived in handcuffs with a rope around his waist, wearing plastic sandals and a dark suit with no tie. The 64-year-old appeared to have lost weight during his seven weeks in detention.
Ghosn, who is accused of financial misconduct, told the court that all of his actions were taken “with the knowledge and approval of the appropriate executives inside the company.”
The hearing was requested by Ghosn himself, who told the court he had been “wrongly accused and unfairly detained.”
However, the presiding judge said Ghosn’s continued detention was justified because he posed a flight risk and could tamper with evidence. In Japan, suspects are routinely held without bail because of fears they might tamper with evidence.
More than 1,000 people waited outside the courtroom in the hope of winning one of 14 lottery tickets for the public gallery
First time in public
Ghosn was arrested in November and charged with falsifying financial reports in underreporting his income.
The appearance on Tuesday was the first time Ghosn had been seen in public since his arrest. In December, he was also charged with aggravated breach of trust.
The Brazilian-born Ghosn, who has French and Lebanese nationality, was sent in by France’s Renault SA to a struggling Nissan In 1999. He presided over a spectacular turnaround by the Japanese carmaker, serving most of his two decades there as chief executive.
The case has unsettled the alliance between Nissan and Renault, which owns 43 percent of Nissan. The Japanese firm’s chief executive, Hiroto Saikawa, has publicly denounced Ghosn, who remains chief executive of Renault. Ghosn has been removed from the board at Nissan.
rc/cmk (AFP, dpa, AP)
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