Carlos Ghosn says it was French President Emmanuel Macron who set in motion the train of events that led to his downfall. The former CEO of Renault SA and Nissan Motor Co. pointed the finger at Macron, blaming the French leader for angering executives and officials in Japan by trying to lock Nissan into its alliance with Renault two years ago.

While the president was never named, it was clear that was who Ghosn was alluding to when he hinted that the government asked him to push through a full merger of the two automakers against his will.

Macron was far from the only target of Ghosn's wrath at his first news conference since escaping from Japan. The main focus of his attacks were Japanese prosecutors, Nissan executives and the carmaker's lawyers, Latham & Watkins. But when he sought to explain the origins of the alleged plot against him, it was the French president he held responsible.