Skip to main content

The Journal Gazette

  • Ghosn

  • Associated Press People stand in front of a showroom of Nissan in Tokyo. The company has ousted Carlos Ghosn as chairman, and a replacement has not yet been picked.

Thursday, December 06, 2018 1:00 am

Ex-Nissan chairman prepared to fight case

YURI KAGEYAMA | Associated Press

TOKYO – The former Nissan chairman Carlos Ghosn, who was arrested in Japan on suspicion of underreporting his income, seems prepared to fight out his case and has asked for thriller books, according to the Brazilian consul general.

Joao de Mendonca Lima Neto, one of the few visitors Ghosn has been allowed to see under Japan's stringent rules, said Ghosn was healthy and holding up well.

“My impression is that he is a strong man in the sense that he will fight this out properly. He doesn't look worried,” Mendonca told The Associated Press on Wednesday at Brazil's consulate in Tokyo. “I admire him for his fortitude.”

Mendonca declined comment on the specifics of the allegations against Ghosn, saying his job was about helping Brazilian citizens with their problems.

He said he has conveyed Ghosn's verbal messages to his family and has relayed the family's messages back. He declined to disclose details.

Ghosn, who headed the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Motors auto alliance, was arrested last month on suspicion he underreported his income by millions of dollars for years at a time.

Born in Brazil, Ghosn holds French, Lebanese and Brazilian citizenships. Only representatives of a suspect's home country and attorneys can visit suspects in detention in Japan.

Consular officials have visited Ghosn four times in the last two weeks, Mendonca said. They brought history and philosophy books and fruit, but Ghosn asked for thriller books to pass the time.

Mendonca said he speaks with Ghosn in Portuguese through a glass barrier.

“Dr. Ghosn has always said that he is well and he is well treated, given the circumstances,” he said. “He answers normally, 'I'm fine.' ”

Japanese media, without identifying sources, have reported prosecutors will detain Ghosn on additional allegations beyond Dec. 10, when the period of detention allowed on the first set of allegations against him will run out. Prosecutors have refused to comment. Ghosn has not been charged.