Business / Corporate

Carlos Ghosn's wife willing to return to Japan for questioning in Tokyo court

JIJI, Kyodo

The wife of former Nissan Motor Co. Chairman Carlos Ghosn is ready to appear in a Tokyo court for questioning, according to a lawyer for Ghosn.

Lawyer Junichiro Hironaka said Tuesday that questioning of Carole Ghosn may be conducted within the month.

When her 65-year-old husband was rearrested April 4, Tokyo prosecutors asked her to meet with them for voluntary questioning, but she left Japan the next day, according to sources and French reports. The prosecutors have since requested the Tokyo District Court to call her.

The lawyer’s remark came after the wife indicated her willingness to return to Japan for questioning, during her recent interview with French radio RTL.

In the interview, she denied she had fled Japan. Then she criticized the Japanese judicial system by saying that her husband has been treated like a criminal though his trial has not begun yet, and that the principle of assumed innocence has not been respected.

Ghosn was served a fresh arrest warrant for allegedly funneling Nissan money to himself via a car distributor in Oman. The surprise move came as a blow to Ghosn, who was released on bail less than a month ago and planned to give his own news conference Thursday.

Ghosn’s son, Anthony Ghosn, denied Tuesday he has received money paid by the automaker to an Omani distributor and then allegedly redirected to him and his family by his father.

In an email response to a Kyodo News query, Anthony Ghosn, who is CEO of U.S. investment firm Shogun, said he “has not received any money from Good Faith.”

He was referring to a firm called Good Faith Investments, via which some of the funds in question were allegedly transferred to Beauty Yachts, a company headed by Ghosn’s wife.

A senior official of the Omani distributor, an acquaintance of Carlos Ghosn’s, was listed as chief of the investment company, which was effectively owned by Ghosn.

Part of the Nissan funds are believed to have been eventually transferred to Beauty Yachts, which apparently purchased a yacht, named Shacho — “president” in Japanese — for use by Ghosn’s family.

Based on analysis of internal Nissan documents, including emails, prosecutors found an amount of money — identical to that transferred to GFI — was channeled to Beauty Yachts, sources said.

Japanese prosecutors have requested help with the investigation from the United States and have sent a team there.