Carole Ghosn Claims Embattled Husband, Carlos Ghosn, Is Innocent

The former Nissan Chairman's wife pleaded for help from President Trump.

Carlos Ghosn
AFP/Getty Images

Carlos Ghosn went from helming one of the most powerful automotive empires to being arrested not once, but four times in just a few short months. According to Japanese prosecutors, Ghosn was repeatedly arrested due to a litany of alleged financial crimes and irregularities that occurred during his tenure as Chairman of Nissan, Renault, and Mitsubishi. In an effort to obtain a “fair and honest trial” for her husband—who is once again behind bars—Carlos’s wife, Carole, wrote a plea in the Washington Post seeking President Donald Trump’s assistance.

Before Ghosn was most recently re-arrested on April 4th—his initial arrest came in November of last year—the former Chairman set up a Twitter account and tweeted that he’d conduct a press conference, and was “Getting ready to tell the truth about what’s happening.” But before he could, the Japanese police conducted a pre-dawn raid on the couple’s residence, where he had been previously confined on to house arrest pending trial. This last roundup, however, is what spurred Ms. Ghosn to speak out on behalf of herself and her husband.

In addition to asking the Trump to intervene, Ms. Ghosn detailed how Japanese investigators deliberately raided the couple’s Tokyo home to “humiliate us, invade our privacy and violate our most basic dignities as human beings.” Ms. Ghosn also spoke about how she was taken aback by the lack of basic rights offered to those suspected of a criminal offense by the Japanese government, including not allowing the presence of one’s lawyer during questioning. 

She explains, “As a U.S. citizen, I was horrified to discover that many of the rights we enjoy in the United States do not exist in Japan. The right to an attorney during questioning, and all the protections that come with it, does not exist in Japan.” And indeed, Japan does not allow one’s lawyer to be present during questioning or interrogation. Ms. Ghosn also detailed her dealings with the Japanese prosecutors during the latest April 4th raid, “I was treated like a criminal, even though I am not a suspect and have not been charged with anything.” 

Ms. Ghosn’s op-ed also gave testimony on what she and others claim as evidence of Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry working with Nissan’s own executives to block the merger between Nissan and Renault “at all costs.” This, in her opinion, was what brought her husband down and spend the initial 108 days in jail, not the financial crimes he’s alleged to have committed. “What should have been settled in the Nissan boardroom has been turned into a criminal affair,” she states while also claiming her husband’s total innocence. 

Ultimately, Ms. Ghosn took the time to beg President Trump to take action on behalf of Carlos when he meets with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe later next week. She says, “Trade will be front and center. It’s hard to imagine that Trump would be indifferent to a Japanese government ministry interfering in the normal give-and-take of private business decisions by one of its automakers. I hope and pray that our president will urge Abe to allow my husband to obtain bail so he can prepare for trial.”

For now, Carlos Ghosn remains imprisoned for crimes that range from underreporting his salary, transferring his personal losses to Nissan’s books at the height of the 2008 financial crisis, paying his sister a consultation fee for a number of years, and making suspicious payments to companies in Saudi Arabia, Oman, and Lebanon.