Carlos Ghosn has been put back under arrest over allegations he misused company funds, prompting the former Nissan chairman to angrily denounce his detention as “outrageous and arbitrary”.
Japanese TV showed prosecutors arriving at Ghosn’s apartment in Tokyo, less than a month after he was freed on bail following more than 100 days in detention.
Ghosn was first arrested in November 2018 and faces two charges of financial misconduct and one of aggravated breach of trust.
The 65-year-old, who was seen getting into a car accompanied by prosecutors, condemned the latest development in a case that has gripped Japan and raised questions about the country’s criminal justice system.
In a statement made through his representatives, he said: “It is part of another attempt by some individuals at Nissan to silence me by misleading the prosecutors. Why arrest me except to try to break me? I will not be broken.”
Ghosn has repeatedly denied allegations that he understated his salary by tens of millions of dollars as head of Nissan, and that he used company funds to cover up personal investment losses.
Thursday’s arrest relates to $32m in Nissan funds paid to a distributor in Oman. Some of the funds were allegedly used to buy a luxury yacht for Ghosn and his family.
Ghosn’s representatives denied any irregularities in the use of the discretionary fund, adding that “under no circumstances has all or part of such payments benefited Carlos Ghosn or his family”.
Ghosn’s re-arrest comes a day after he used Twitter to announce he was “getting ready to tell the truth” at a press conference next week, in what would be his first media appearance since he was released on bail in early March.
A post on a newly created Twitter account under Ghosn’s name said: “I’m getting ready to tell the truth about what’s happening. Press conference on Thursday, April 11.”
It is unclear whether Ghosn was behind the account, whose followers appeared to include his son Anthony. The account, apparently verified by Twitter, also tweeted the same statement in Japanese.
Under his bail conditions, Ghosn is not allowed to access the internet and his offline use of computers is restricted to business hours on weekdays at his lawyer’s office.
Ghosn is credited with rescuing Nissan from the brink of bankruptcy two decades ago and forging a successful alliance with Renault and Mitsubishi Motors. He was sacked as chairman of Nissan and Mitsubishi soon after his arrest and later resigned as head of Renault.
His long detention drew international criticism of Japan’s powerful public prosecutors, who can detain suspects for long periods without charge and interrogate them without their lawyer present.