Wife demands details as Ghosn gets a fever
Carlos Ghosn developed a fever while in a Tokyo jail but was feeling better yesterday, his lawyer said, after the former Nissan chief’s wife pressed Japanese authorities for information on his health.
Mr Ghosn’s lawyers arrived at the jail to meet with their client on Thursday but were turned away by Japanese officials who said Mr Ghosn had a fever, a source said. The lawyers were also told that the daily interrogation of Mr Ghosn had been suspended.
Yesterday morning, Mr Ghosn’s lawyer, Motonari Otsuru, said his client’s temperature had fallen back to 35.4 degrees. Mr Ghosn was healthy enough to see Mr Otsuru and consular officials yesterday, as he had been regularly doing since his arrest, the lawyer said.
Carole Ghosn, his wife, issued a statement on Thursday, saying Japanese authorities refused to let the Ghosn family speak with medical personnel at the jail or to confirm whether Mr Ghosn had been transferred to an infirmary.
“I am pleading with the Japanese authorities to provide us with any information at all about my husband’s health,” Mrs Ghosn said. “We are fearful and very worried his recovery will be complicated while he continues to endure such harsh conditions and unfair treatment.”
Mr Ghosn, 64, has been in a Tokyo jail since his arrest on November 19. Mr Ghosn was charged on December 10 with failing to report his compensation accurately in financial statements at Nissan, where he was once chairman and chief executive. Mr Ghosn created the world’s largest carmaking alliance by stitching the Japanese company together with France’s Renault.
On Tuesday, Mr Ghosn delivered a point-by-point rebuttal in a Japanese court, saying he has been “wrongly accused and unfairly detained based on meritless and unsubstantiated allegations”.
The arrest of Mr Ghosn has cast a spotlight on Japan’s justice system. Mr Ghosn has now been held for more than 50 days and a court this week ruled his detention should continue, saying he is a flight risk and might destroy evidence.
“My information is limited to news reports as no one in his family has been allowed to contact with him since November 19,” Mrs Ghosn said of her husband’s reported illness.
The absence of Mr Ghosn is also pulling at the seams of the car-making alliance between Renault, Nissan and Mitsubishi. Nissan moved quickly to oust Mr Ghosn as chairman after his arrest, as did Mitsubishi.
Renault and the French government, Renault’s biggest shareholder, have said Mr Ghosn should benefit from the presumption of innocence. He remains chairman and chief executive of Renault, which has named interim executives to carry out his duties while he is in jail.
One of Mr Ghosn’s lawyers recently warned that defendants who deny charges in cases such as his client’s are typically held until the beginning of their trials, adding that could be at least six months away.