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Nissan's Ghosn crisis

Carole Ghosn accused of 'destroying evidence' by Tokyo prosecutors

Wife of ex-Nissan Chairman Carlos Ghosn allegedly paid hush money

TOKYO -- Carole Ghosn, the wife of ousted Nissan Motor Chairman Carlos Ghosn, allegedly attempted to obstruct the case against her husband and destroy evidence, Tokyo prosecutors say.

The accusation came on Thursday, the day after Carlos insisted on his innocence in a roughly two-hour news conference in Beirut, where he fled after jumping bail in Japan. Japanese authorities have asked Interpol to issue a notice seeking Carole's arrest for alleged perjury, according to sources.

Before escaping just before New Year's, Carlos was awaiting trial for aggravated breach of trust, harming Nissan by sending company funds to an acquaintance in Saudi Arabia and redirecting money to himself through a company based in Oman.

Takahiro Saito, deputy chief of the Tokyo prosecutors office, told reporters that Carole contacted a person who was deeply involved in the remittances and met him in Lebanon to ask him not to cooperate with the investigation. He said she also asked a law firm in Lebanon not to assist with the case.

In addition, Saito accused Carole of paying significant hush money to her husband's ex-wife.

"Carole Ghosn contacted parties concerned and destroyed evidence at the instruction of Carlos Ghosn while he remained in custody," Saito told reporters.

Carole is suspected of making false statements when she appeared at the Tokyo District Court as a witness last April, when she testified that she did not remember contacting concerned parties. Tokyo prosecutors obtained an arrest warrant for the alleged perjury on Tuesday.

In an interview with the Nikkei Asian Review last May, Carole said she had "nothing to do" with allegations that her husband misused Nissan money.

In his Beirut news conference, Carlos rebuked the Japanese justice system and claimed that his November 2018 arrest was part of a plot by other Nissan executives, including former CEO Hiroto Saikawa.

Explaining why he ran rather than staying to clear his name in court, he recalled thinking, "You are going to die in Japan, or you are going to have to get out."

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