Timely, Carlos Ghosn leaves the baroque elevator in the last floor of the boutique hotel Albergo in Beirut, one of the most exquisite of Lebanon. Located in the christian quarter, with its restaurant is the preserve of privileged high-society local. He is accompanied by his wife, Carole, and a beefy bodyguard of thick beard. “In 45 minutes I have to leave for an important call to Japan,” he apologizes pragmatic former president of Renault-Nissan after a handshake. Between gestures —at every mention of Nissan is tightened the eyebrows— and alternating between French, Arabic and English, begins the interview this Thursday with the COUNTRY, the first with a media in English since his arrest in Japan on November 19, 2018. At 65, Ghosn (Porto Velho, Brazil) has gone from icon of the business to a fugitive from justice japanese. It is said the victim of a plot and has joined a small army of lawyers to defend itself in Lebanon, France and Japan. Retired in the european country, says he wants to help the “tens of thousands of victims of the justice japanese.”
Question. How do you go from being a cuasidios in the business of a bandit in Japan?
MORE INFORMATIONCarlos Ghosn demand to Renault to pay for his retirement as a Fugitive in Japan, a hero in Lebanon Ghosn guilt of his “nightmare” to a plot by Nissan to do away with it
Response. Turned Nissan from 1999 to 2016, and later was president of the board of directors. In Japan I was surrounded by good words. I represented another form of management in the face of the japanese model, a novelty. And suddenly, everything changed. From one day to another, the tax and a small leadership team of Nissan start to say the opposite. I was stunned. The have a reputation so strong, it was difficult to get rid of me without destroying my image before. That's why they began to say that I was a dictator, a greedy... I Am a man with decision, not a dictator.
Q. Places the turning point in 2017, when the results of Nissan get worse. Then, according to his version, he starts to cook the plot.
“I did not attack anyone, contraataco”
A. This is the year that I start to exert more pressure on the administration, demanding a plan of action after detecting a decline in the results. It was my duty. But it created some friction with the senior management team and, above all, between Hiroto Saikawa [the officer who succeeded him to the front of Nissan] and [the Spanish] Jose Munoz. The second wanted a strategy that was more militant in the US which I shared.Carlos Ghosn, with his wife, Carole, on Thursday in Beirut. Jacob Russell
Q. why have they gone against you?
A. Because it was easy. I am a foreigner, I am known, and I threw him all over.
Q. After almost two decades in Japan, you should know well the ins and outs of the company and the justice.
A. No, No, No. Justice is a japanese black spot in the country. When I was the boss at Nissan, I heard of cases striking as the of the vice-president of Toyota arrested because she had ordered medicines to your mother, and these had entered the country without declaring it. I found it strange. But such acts are relatively recent. When I arrived to the country there was a opening and there was a desire to internationalization. The modern Japan is much more closed and more nationalistic. There has been a mutation.
Q. Attaches the plot to attempt to torpedo a greater integration between Renault and Nissan.
A. Is obvious. Look at what it is today this alliance. During the 17 years in which I built not have heard of a single internal discussion. And the results are two companies that sink. Well, Nissan already has sunk... Doubled its size between 1999 and 2017. Today you do not have a clear vision and I don't know why anyone would buy Nissan. From 2018, Renault and Nissan have lost a third of its capitalization on the Stock exchange, while the index of car went up 12%. Are amounts colossal. It is a bleeding mass.
"I Built the alliance Nissan-Renault. Today are two companies that sink"
Q. Said to have fled from the injustice of a country where 99.4% of the accused are convicted. Do you think that in Lebanon it has the 100% chance of being acquitted?
A. There is sure to be tried in Lebanon. But in Lebanon, France or Brazil, there are laws to defend. In Japan 99.4% of the prosecutors win cases means that 99.4% of lawyers lose. It is dramatic. The minister of Justice has said that mr. Ghosn has to go to Japan to prove their innocence. All lawyers of the world will have caught up to remember that in a democratic system there is the presumption of innocence and that what is proved is the guilt.
Q. What he thought when he stepped on Beirut after his flight?
A. you have Already finished the nightmare! I have lived many betrayals, although I've also seen people with a lot of courage, bravery, and human value.
"If my experience can serve the lebanese Government, put at your service"
Q. why did you choose the 30 of December to escape?
A. Because it is a time when people relax, go on vacation, to ski... it Was the good time. I was surprised when I was arrested and I have been surprised to leave.
Q. Refuses to talk about how you escaped, but it is believed that he did it with a box of musical instrument, two private planes, a militia with lebanese...
A. The only two data tested are that I left my house on Sunday noon, I landed in Beirut on a private flight from Istanbul and entered in Lebanon with my French passport and my identity card lebanese. I will not say anything more.
Q. how he Thought he could create a diplomatic issue between Japan and Lebanon?
A. I don't think so. I am a lebanese and I have entered in the country legally. I have limited myself to talk about Nissan and the prosecutors on a personal level without naming any responsible japanese politician. I don't want to say that the Government is not involved in the ruse, but I didn't want to talk about it to prevent them from deteriorating relations between the two countries.
Q. For how long she is banned from leaving Lebanon?
A. I have removed my passport and now I can not travel. I'm in No rush of leaving. I am well, among friends and family in a country that appreciation. I am in No hurry.
Q. Have you brought to trial Renault to request a retirement of close to 800,000 euros per year?
A. Without going into the details of the process, I am claiming my rights in France, where there is an independent justice system. I'm not asking for anything illegitimate. I think that Renault has treated me incorrectly and I have been denied my rights. Not to bash anyone, just contraataco. Japan attacked me to keep me 14 months of detention. Without letting me speak with my wife or with some of my children. Are not forms. And all, why? Why don't I informed of a salary that I never received?
Q. what Maintains his complete innocence?
A. of course. Or is it innocent or is guilty. There is No middle ground.
Q. In Beirut, lives in a house that Nissan claimed as the property of the company.
A. is Not the first fallacy they say. That house is the subject of a dispute between Nissan and I in the hands of the justice lebanese. It was made for my use and in the framework of a compensation.
Q. What's your plan for the future? Do you retire? Do you leave the business?
A. we're far away from retirement. Officially I am retired in France. That does not mean that it is inactive. I'm going to defend my rights there and in Japan. The japanese experience shaped me. There are tens of thousands of people who suffer from that system and do not have the privilege of getting to know your case, so I think I can be helpful and lend a hand.
Q. Is raised a political role in the crisis in lebanon? A politician has proposed as minister of Energy.
A. Reniego of all political ambition, that I never had. And I'm not going to change your mind at this age. I am part of this community and, if my experience can be useful to the new Government, I am willing to put it at the service of the country. I have carried out drastic changes on three occasions with Mitsubishi, Nissan and Renault, with the usual results. The current situation is difficult in Lebanon, but it is not impossible to get out of it.
When asked his wife Carole on if it supported your husband take an active role in Lebanon, she answers yes: “I Hope that I can straighten out the economy, because it is necessary. This country needs someone like Carlos.” “It is the only point of discord between us,” ditch the employer before proceeding with your call to Japan.Updated Date: 17 January 2020, 23:00