Carlos Ghosn has said he would receive a “fair trial” in France after being issued an arrest warrant in the latest of a string of charges brought against the disgraced former auto executive.
Ghosn said he trusted the French justice system to treat him correctly; even if he did not receive the same treatment from the media and wider society.
“I think yes, I can get a fair trial,” he told CNBC’s Hadley Gamble.
“I will not get fair treatment, but I will get a fair trial;” he said; citing the media’s apparently disproportionate coverage of lavish parties and excessive spending during his tenure as an auto CEO.
French authorities on Thursday issued an international arrest warrant for the former Renault-Nissan executive who famously skipped bail in Japan and fled to Lebanon in a box.
The warrant relates to an investigation into allegations of 15 million euros ($16.2 million) in suspicious payments between Renault and an Omani car dealership during Ghosn’s tenure. The allegations involve misappropriation of company assets, corruption and money laundering.
Four others, including current owners or former directors of Suhail Bahwan Automobiles; were also issued with arrest warrants.
It is the latest in a series of accusations brought against the ex-car industry supremo; who was first arrested in Japan in November 2018 and charged with multiple financial misdeeds while running Nissan. Ghosn denies all charges.
Ghosn said Friday that he was not surprised by the arrest warrant; describing it as part of the “natural process” for French investigators.
However, he said he was surprised to learn about it, not from authorities, but in a newspaper.
“What surprised me is the fact that I learned about it by reading in an American newspaper;” he said, referring to the Wall Street Journal, which broke the news Thursday.
Ghosn added that the timing of the warrant was “suspicious,” given the forthcoming French presidential elections this Sunday.