Business / Corporate

Tokyo prosecutors tried to bar Carole Ghosn from husband, citing role as go-between, source says

Kyodo

Tokyo prosecutors suspect the wife of former Nissan Motor Co. Chairman Carlos Ghosn has contacted people linked to his case and unsuccessfully tried to bar her from seeing her husband while he is in detention, a source close to the matter said Tuesday.

Prosecutors asked the Tokyo District Court to effectively permit only lawyers to see Ghosn, who is currently being held at the Tokyo Detention House for alleged financial misconduct, claiming the former auto tycoon had his wife, Carole, contact the parties involved in his case to ask them to tell the same story as his, the source said.

Carole Ghosn may have made the contacts overseas as she traveled to France on April 5, the day after her husband was rearrested in Tokyo, and returned to Japan in time for pretrial questioning by prosecutors on April 11, the source added.

The court has rejected the prosecutors’ request to limit Ghosn’s visitors, but their latest allegations could influence the court’s decision on whether to grant bail for Ghosn, who was indicted Monday on a fresh charge of misusing Nissan funds paid to a distributor in Oman.

It was his fourth indictment. His lawyers filed a bail request later Monday. Ghosn, who has denied all charges, was initially arrested in November and released on bail in March before being taken back to the detention center in early April.

Ghosn is suspected of channeling some of Nissan’s payments to the Omani distributor Suhail Bahwan Automobiles LLC for his personal use, causing the automaker to sustain a $5 million loss.

The prosecutors suspect Carole Ghosn may have met officials of the Omani distributor, according to the source.

After the court approved bail for Ghosn on March 5 following his more than 100 days in detention, he lived with Carole in a Tokyo apartment until he was arrested for the fourth time on April 4.

His bail conditions included a ban from contacting Nissan executives and other people potentially linked to the allegations. But the terms did not ban Carole Ghosn from contacting people potentially involved in his case.