A month after former Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn was granted bail and stealthily walked out of a Tokyo jail—disguised as a workman and traveling in a van—he says he’s ready to give his side of the story.
In a tweet posted today from a new Twitter account, Ghosn said he would hold a press conference on April 11 to “tell the truth about what’s happening.” The account wasn’t verified at first, leading many to wonder whether it was a hoax. The account was later verified.
He later posted the same tweet in Japanese.
The 64-year-old had been in detention since November, when he was arrested on allegations of financial misconduct including understating his income. He was indicted in December, and if found guilty could face up to 10 years in prison. Ghosn has repeatedly denied wrongdoing.
Ghosn was granted bail a month ago at ¥1 billion ($9 million) after he appointed a new lawyer—nicknamed “the Razor” for his combative style and track record in winning high-profile cases—to represent him, following two failed bail requests. As part of his bail conditions, Ghosn is subject to limited mobile phone and computer use, and a total ban on internet use.
On the same day as Ghosn surfaced on Twitter, however, Japanese media reported that prosecutors are preparing to arrest him again on financial misconduct linked to a Nissan dealer in Oman.
His lengthy detention has drawn criticism from around the world, with even French president Emmanuel Macron relaying his concerns (paywall) over the Brazilian-born French national’s treatment in jail to Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe.
It’s also likely that Ghosn’s trial will end in a conviction. Since Ghosn’s arrest, Japan’s judicial system has drawn worldwide scrutiny for its 99.9% conviction rate, suggesting slim odds of an acquittal in a system that’s stacked against him.
Up until his arrest, Ghosn was one of the most powerful people in the auto industry, having forged an alliance between Renault and Nissan nearly two decades ago. The alliance, which in 2016 added Mitsubishi into the fold, is the largest in the industry and accounts for one in nine cars produced globally. Nissan and Mitsubishi removed Ghosn as their chairman, while Ghosn stepped down in January as chairman and CEO of Renault.