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Wed 3 Apr 2019 09:54 AM

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Carlos Ghosn may be re-arrested ahead of planned news conference

The former chairman of Nissan had a news conference planned for April 11, saying he was 'ready to tell the truth about what's happening'

Carlos Ghosn may be re-arrested ahead of planned news conference
The drama surrounding Ghosn reignited on Wednesday when he tweeted that he plans to hold a news conference on April 11 to “tell the truth” about accusations against him for alleged financial crimes.

In another bizarre plot twist in Carlos Ghosn’s long-running legal troubles, the former Nissan Motor Co. chairman may be re-arrested on fresh charges just as he was preparing to tell his side of the story.

The drama surrounding Ghosn reignited on Wednesday when he tweeted that he plans to hold a news conference on April 11 to “tell the truth” about accusations against him for alleged financial crimes.

Soon after, the Sankei newspaper reported that Ghosn would be re-arrested by prosecutors in Tokyo on a new charge of breach of trust.

Ghosn, who has been free on bail for almost a month, tweeted from a newly created Twitter account without specifying a time or place.

Ghosn, who has been preparing for his trial on charges of financial misconduct, has vigorously denied accusations of transferring personal trading losses to the automaker and under-reporting his income. He was arrested November 19 and jailed for more than 100 days.

The sudden arrest of the auto czar destabilized an alliance between Nissan, Renault and Mitsubishi Motors.

The three automakers announced a new alliance board last month, designed for smoother and more equitable decision-making.

Another re-arrest is unlikely to impact the car businesses, but could put Nissan and Renault under closer scrutiny. That’s because the new charges may be related to improper payments made to an acquaintance in Oman, according to the Sankei.

Renault and Nissan have uncovered payments made under Ghosn that allegedly went toward corporate jets, a yacht and his son’s startup, leading the French carmaker to alert authorities about potential wrongdoing, people familiar with the matter have said.

The transactions were revealed in probes and amounted to millions of euros to companies in Oman and Lebanon that may have then been used for the personal benefit of Ghosn and his family, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the details aren’t public.

News conference

The prospect of being detained again may spur Ghosn and his lawyers to hold a news conference earlier. His lead lawyer Junichiro Hironaka had spoken on his behalf until now, most recently this week.

Until Wednesday, Ghosn had never tweeted under a personal account. The Twitter handle @carlosghosn says he joined in April 2019 and describes him as “Father, Husband, Former Chairman and CEO of Nissan Motors, Renault, Former Chairman of Mitsubishi Motors, Former Chairman and CEO of the Alliance.”

Within the first hour of the inaugural tweet, the account amassed more than 800 followers and was evolving in real time. It initially lacked Twitter’s blue check mark indicating a verified account, but that popped up later.

Then, Japanese characters appeared next to his name and a background image of the former auto executive gazing over a Japanese temple was added. A picture of a thinner and grayer Ghosn standing in front of cherry blossoms, currently blooming in Tokyo, was on the account from the beginning.

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