Carlos Ghosn, the embattled former Nissan and Renault executive who has been accused of financial crimes in Japan, said in a video message released Tuesday that he is innocent and the victim of a conspiracy.
Ghosn, whose defense team said it will file an appeal with the Supreme Court on Wednesday against the Tokyo District Court's decision to detain him, went on to underscore his support for the autonomy of Nissan, highlighting the point, however, that it must be based on performance.
"I am innocent", Ghosn said, adding that he still loved both Nissan and Japan.
The seven-minute-long video was recorded only days before Ghosn's most recent arrest (minutes before his tell-all press conference) and tells a story of an attempted coup motivated by "backstabbing" high-level executives who feared for their futures.
He initially served as the automaker's chief executive officer following the Japanese automaker's capital alliance made with Renault and as Nissan president from 2000 and its chief executive officer from 2001 to 2017.
The official also reportedly said French judicial authorities are investigating the case just like Japanese authorities and that the government does not have a say in such a judicial matter.
"The company's focus remains on addressing weaknesses in governance that enabled this misconduct".
The conspiracy, he said, was borne out of fear that he would bring Nissan closer to its partner and top shareholder, Renault.
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Ghosn's fourth arrest was on a fresh breach of trust allegation based on suspicions that payments from a Nissan subsidiary to an Oman dealership were diverted to a company effectively run by Ghosn.
He appeared to be saying he was the best leader for Nissan, while those behind the alleged conspiracy were failing. "I committed, since the beginning of my career, to the success of the Nissan revival plan", he said.
"The word is not too strong", Zimeray argued, accusing the judiciary in Japan, where suspects can be kept for 23 days without charge and are often kept behind bars until their trial, of "taking a person hostage until they crack and make a confession".
Prosecutors say that the latest allegation is different, and that there is a risk that Ghosn may tamper with evidence.
The Ghosn arrest story has produced so many twists and turns that we've nearly become accustomed to it as the industry's background noise (not unlike the emissions scandal, it appears to be rumbling interminably on and on).
She claimed that France has done nothing except for having the French ambassador to Japan accompany her when she left the country last week. "I know he is innocent, and I ask that he be given the presumption of innocence as are all French citizens".
No date has been set for Ghosn's trial as yet.