BEIRUT — Over the past year, the former chairman of Nissan, Renault and Mitsubishi was jailed, then muzzled. Now that he's free, Carlos Ghosn is threatening to go after the parties that accused him of crimes and stripped him of his corporate positions.
Ghosn, on the lam in Lebanon after jumping bail in Japan, will explore "massive" countermeasures against those he says have wronged him, said his French lawyer Francois Zimeray.
Zimeray didn't rule out any actions. Possible moves could involve civil suits or other complaints, in Japan or elsewhere, and are precedented by a case filed last year by Ghosn in the Netherlands.
"There are many actions to launch now," Zimeray told Automotive News last week after Ghosn gave a combative press conference here — his first with the media since his November 2018 arrest in Tokyo.
"This paves the way for a counterattack, which will be legitimate and massive," said Zimeray, in attendance at the event in Beirut. Ghosn fled to Lebanon in a coordinated, cloak-and-dagger getaway at the end of December to escape what he calls injustice and political persecution in Japan.
Ghosn had been awaiting trial in Tokyo on charges of financial misconduct and faced up to 15 years in prison if convicted.
Zimeray said Ghosn's legal team has not decided what measures to take or whom they will target. But, he said, "We are ready to go further now and hit."
At the press conference, Ghosn said clearing his name and reestablishing his reputation were the top priorities, even if that meant standing trial in another jurisdiction. Ghosn said he would face a court in any country except Japan, which he said has a rigged justice system.
"I can do a lot, and I want to clear my name," Ghosn said. "You can expect me in the next weeks to take some initiatives."