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Former Renault CEO's wife calls husband 'victim of a corporate coup'

She says Japan, Nissan conspired against husband

(CNN) - Former Nissan and Renault chairman Carlos Ghosn's wife, Carole, is calling on world leaders for help.

Carlos Ghosn "is a victim of a corporate coup," Carole Ghosn told CNN's Paula Newton in an interview that aired Thursday.

Carole Ghosn alleged that Nissan executives conspired with Japan's Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry to arrest her husband. Their aim, she said, was to stop a Nissan-Renault merger.

The ministry denied the allegations.

"We have yet to be aware of Ms. Carole Ghosn's comments," the ministry said in a statement. "However, if she claims that the ministry of Economy, Industry and Trade is involved in the arrest of Mr. Ghosn, it is groundless."

Carlos Ghosn, as the former head of Nissan and Renault, is one of the most prominent figures in the global auto industry. His arrest and detention have created tension between the companies he used to run.

Nissan "twisted the truth because they needed an excuse to put him in detention," said Carole Ghosn. While detained, her husband became tired and depressed, she said.

The Japanese automaker noted that Ghosn was voted off the board only after authorities discovered evidence of his misconduct.

"Nissan's internal investigation has uncovered substantial evidence of blatantly unethical conduct... Further discoveries related to Ghosn's misconduct continue to emerge," it stated.

Renault did not respond to request for comment. Japan's Justice Ministry declined to comment on specific cases.

Carole Ghosn claimed the goal of her husband's imprisonment was to get him to confess to crimes so that he would be ousted from Nissan and unable to complete a merger.

Carlos Ghosn was first arrested in November 2018 over allegations of misconduct, including using Nissan funds for personal use and underreporting his salary. After three months in custody, he was released. He was arrested again in early April for financial misconduct allegations and then released on bail in less than a month. He is currently awaiting trial.

His wife called on US President Donald Trump, French President Emmanuel Macron and Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro to pressure Japan's prime minister, Shinzō Abe, during next week's G20 summit to release him.

"I hope that my husband will get a fair trial, because I think with a fair trial, he'll be able to prove his innocence," she said.

Correction: An earlier version of this article incorrectly identified Carlos Ghosn's detention status.


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