Business

Carlos Ghosn's wife asks French President Macron to help her husband

Posted August 22, 2019 9:00 a.m. EDT

— Carole Ghosn, the wife of embattled auto executive Carlos Ghosn, has for months been blasting Japanese authorities for how they have handled her husband's case. Now she wants French President Emmanuel Macron to step in.

In a statement on Thursday, Carole Ghosn asked Macron to discuss her husband's case with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. The two leaders are scheduled to meet at the G7 summit this weekend, which Macron is hosting in the French seaside town of Biarritz.

Ghosn, a former corporate legend who ran the world's largest automaking alliance of Nissan, Renault and Mitsubishi, was arrested in Tokyo last November on charges of financial misconduct. He is a Brazilian-born French citizen.

He was released in April, but he remains on strict house arrest facing "punitive and inhumane conditions which violate fundamental human rights," according to Carole Ghosn.

The couple has been prohibited from contacting each other for over four months, she said. "To say that my husband's bail conditions are 'cruel and unusual' would be an understatement."

She says her husband has yet to be given a trial date.

"I am calling on President Macron to intercede on my husband's behalf with Prime Minister Abe and implore him to do the right thing. Carlos deserves a fair trial and that starts with just bail conditions and setting a trial date."

It's not the first time Carole Ghosn has reached out to a government leader for help. The mother of three has been a forceful public advocate for her husband, and two months ago, she asked US President Donald Trump to intervene on their behalf and talk to Abe.

Carlos Ghosn has been accused of understating his salary and using company assets for his own benefit.

The ex-Nissan chairman has maintained his innocence throughout the ordeal, and suggested that his ouster was part of a grand scheme by Nissan executives who were against his plan to boost the company's ties with Renault.

In her statement Thursday, Carole Ghosn said that her family had applied for visitation or communication rights five times, all of which were rejected by Japanese authorities. The latest appeal was denied about two weeks ago without any explanation, she added.

She also maintains that her husband's defense team is being denied access to crucial files on Ghosn's case, hindering his lawyers' ability to defend him properly.

The case has cast an international spotlight on the way people suspected of crimes are treated in Japan. The system has been described as "hostage justice."

"This 'Japanese hostage justice' system extends well beyond my husband's case and should appall the French government," Carole Ghosn said.

-- CNN's Anna-Maja Rappard contributed to this report.