TOKYO — Carlos Ghosn's wife says the ousted chairman of Renault, Nissan and Mitsubishi is still too weak to give a press conference after nearly four months in jail.
Anticipation has been building since Ghosn's release on bail last week that the media-savvy former auto executive would meet the press to tell his side of the story.
His wife, Carole Ghosn, provided a reality check on the sidelines of a March 12 press conference in Tokyo about Japan's so-called "hostage justice" system, the term critics use to describe the nation's strict legal customs.
"My husband is still weak and needs time to recover his strength," she told Automotive News.
Ghosn's lawyer later echoed the sentiment, saying a press conference may not happen this week. Attorney Junichiro Hironaka said Ghosn also wants more time to plan his remarks.
Ghosn was arrested in Nov. 19 and now faces three indictments accusing him of financial misconduct during his time at Nissan. He denies all charges, calling them the product of a boardroom coup.
Ghosn consulted with lawyers at Hironaka's office Tuesday morning, his first visit since his release on bail. Among the topics discussed was a possible press conference, Hironaka said.
Ghosn's daughter Maya joined the consultations in the afternoon.
Under the terms of his bail, Ghosn is restricted in his Internet access and can only use a designated computer at his lawyer's office, which has no web connection, Hironaka said.
Thus, Hironaka said Ghosn did not watch the afternoon's live stream of a joint press conference held at Nissan's headquarters in Yokohama by the current heads of Renault, Nissan and Mitsubishi. The three companies unveiled a new power-sharing board to oversee their alliance.
Hironaka declined to disclose details of Ghosn's defense strategy, calling it a "secret plan," but he added that Ghosn still expresses worry about future of Nissan.
"He said Nissan needs strong leadership to sustain itself," Hironaka said.
Meanwhile, at the "hostage justice" press conference held in an office building of Japan's Upper House of parliament, a former prosecutor criticized Japan's legal system.
Nobuo Gohara, who is now in private practice and an outspoken proponent of reform, said the country only pays lip service to the ideal of innocent until proven guilty.
"In Japan, there is this thinking that bringing the truth out is important and this idea is significantly emphasized," Gohara said. "But at the same time, the principle of presumed innocence and the rights of those who deny alleged crimes are very much neglected."