Carlos Ghosn’s lawyers have condemned his latest arrest as “inhuman”, claiming it has interrupted his treatment for chronic kidney failure and that prosecutors were attempting to force a confession out of the former Nissan chairman.

According to Reuters, Ghosn’s defence team said in documents prepared after he was arrested for a fourth time last week that Japanese prosecutors were attempting to frustrate their preparations for his trial – a date for which has yet to be set – and trying to force him to confess.

One of the defence documents seen by Reuters described his latest arrest as “illegal”, and the resulting interruption to his treatment for kidney disease and another medical condition as “inhuman”.

Reuters quoted a person familiar with the conditions of Ghosn’s detention as saying he is being interrogated for up to 14 hours a day at the Tokyo detention centre, sometimes in the middle of the night.

Carlos Ghosn was one of the biggest figures in the global car industry until his shock arrest last November over alleged financial misconduct. He forged an alliance between France’s Renault and Japan’s Nissan and Mitsubishi Motors – he was chair of Nissan, chief executive and chairman of Renault and chairman of Mitsubishi.

19 November 2018
Ghosn is arrested by Japanese police at a Tokyo airport upon arrival in his private jet. This follows the arrest hours before of Nissan board member Greg Kelly, a key ally of Ghosn’s. Both are sent to a detention centre in Tokyo. Nissan and Mitsubishi say they will both remove Ghosn as chairman.

20 November 2018
Renault retains Ghosn as chairman and CEO, but appoints Thierry Bolloré as interim CEO in Ghosn’s absence.

22 November 2018
Nissan board sacks Ghosn as chairman.

26 November 2018
Misubishi sacks Ghosn as chairman.

10 December 2018
Prosecutors add to the charges against Ghosn and Kelly, who are accused of underreporting Ghosn’s income over five years to 2015. They are are rearrested on allegations of understating Ghosn’s income for three more years to March 2018.

13 December 2018
Renault retains Ghosn as chairman and chief executive after finding no irregularities in his pay packages.

20 December 2018
A Tokyo court rejects a motion from prosecutors to extend the detentions of Ghosn and Kelly.

21 December 2018
Ghosn is re-arrested on allegations of aggravated breach of trust, accused of shifting personal investment losses to Nissan in 2008. The legal team for Kelly, who suffers from spinal stenosis and needs surgery, requests his release on bail.

24 December 2018
Kelly is released on bail, after paying 70 million yen (£507,025) in cash.

31 December 2018
A Tokyo court extends Ghosn’s detention by 10 days.

8 January 2019
Ghosn proclaims his innocence during a court hearing, his first public appearance following his arrest. A judge says his continued detention is necessary due to flight risk and the possibility he could conceal evidence.

9 January 2019
A second request to end Ghosn’s detention is rejected.

10 January 2019
Renault says it has so far found no evidence of illegal or fraudulent payments to Ghosn.

11 January 2019
Ghosn is indicted on two new charges of financial misconduct.

14 January 2019
Ghosn’s wife says he is suffering “draconian” treatment in prison.

18 January 2019
Nissan and Mitsubishi accuse Ghosn of receiving €7.8m (£6.9m) in “improper payments” from a joint venture between the Japanese carmakers.

24 January 2019
Renault appoints Jean-Dominique Senard as chairman and Thierry Bolloré as chief executive.

28 January 2019
Nissan confirms it is being investigated by the US Securities and Exchange Commission.

30 January 2019
Ghosn accuses Nissan executives of a plot to oust him and prevent closer ties with Renault, in his first interview since his arrest in November.

12 February 2019
Nissan cuts profit forecast and takes £65m charge related to the scandal.

13 February 2019
Renault’s board of directors votes unanimously to strip Ghosn of up to €30m (£26m) in pay and severance.

6 March 2019
Ghosn is released on bail and must live under strict bail conditions in Tokyo until his trial begins, possibly not for several months. His lawyer Motonari Otsuru quits.

12 March 2019
Nissan, Renault and Mitsubishi pledge a “new start” for the world’s top carmaking alliance, breaking up the all-powerful chairmanship previously occupied by Ghosn.

3 April 2019
Renault says his investigation found Ghosn violated the company’s ethical practices.

5 April 2019
Ghosn is re-arrested and will be detained for questioning for 10 days.

8 April 2019
Nissan shareholders sack Ghosn from the company board and replace him with Renault chairman Jean-Dominique Senard.

9 April 2019
Ghosn accuses Nissan executives of conspiring against him in a video. 

The court documents include an account by Carole Ghosn of the morning of her husband’s latest arrest.

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Mrs Ghosn, who appeared in court on Thursday as a witness, said prosecutors had prevented her from contacting her lawyer when they entered the couple’s rented apartment in Tokyo.

She said she had been repeatedly subjected to body searches, forced to keep the bathroom door open when using the toilet, and that a female investigator was present in the bathroom when she undressed to take a shower.

“I felt that they were humiliating and coercing me with these inhuman actions,” she said in the account, dated 4 April.

She left Japan for France last Friday in an attempt to win support for her husband from the French government. She returned this week for an appearance at Tokyo district court over the latest allegations that her husband had misused Nissan funds.

Carlos Ghosn’s lead defence lawyer, Jun’ichirō Hironaka, confirmed Carole had answered prosecutors’ questions for three hours but declined to discuss details. “She responded in good faith, as she had promised to,” he said.

Ghosn faces three charges – two over allegations that he underreported his salary in financial documents and one that he used Nissan funds to cover personal investment losses.

He was rearrested last Thursday over allegations that he caused Nissan $5m (£3.8m) in losses by channelling cash from a discretionary company fund into a firm run by his wife, which was used to buy a luxury yacht.

The 65-year-old, who was credited with rescuing the Japanese carmaker from the brink of bankruptcy two decades ago and masterminded a successful alliance with Renault, denies all charges.

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In a video message recorded shortly before he was rearrested while on bail, Ghosn claimed “backstabbing” Nissan executives had conspired to have him arrested to prevent him from forging closer ties with the French carmaker.

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He was arrested for the first time last November and spent 108 days in detention before being released on bail in early March.

The Frenchman, who also has Brazilian and Lebanese nationality, is due to remain in detention until Sunday, when prosecutors can apply to hold him for an additional 10 days. After that they must release him unless they bring charges or file new allegations.

His case has prompted criticism of Japan’s system of “hostage justice”, which allows prosecutors to hold suspects without charge for long periods and question them without their lawyer present.



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