Carlos Ghosn, the embattled former Nissan and Renault executive who has been accused of financial crimes in Japan, said in a video message released Tuesday that he is innocent and the victim of a conspiracy. The more than 7-minute video describes his removal from Nissan as a "coup."
"I'm innocent. It's not new, you have heard it from me in January, I repeat it today. I am innocent of all the charges that have been brought against me," Ghosn said in the video. He also said he disagrees with accusations that he was a greedy, dictatorial leader.
Ghosn's message emphasized that he has a positive history with Nissan, and instead described the charges against him as a "conspiracy."
"I love Japan and I love Nissan … I committed, since the beginning of my career, to the success of the Nissan revival plan," he said. "This is about a plot, this is about conspiracy, this is about backstabbing."
A Nissan spokesman in the US said the company had no comment on the news.
Ghosn alleged that this conspiracy was caused by fear of a greater alliance and potential merger between Renault and Nissan, which, he said, "would in a certain way threaten some people or eventually threaten the autonomy of Nissan." He countered, however, that he has "been the fiercest defender of the autonomy of Nissan."
According to Automotive News, the video was released at the Foreign Correspondents' Club of Japan in Tokyo. It was reportedly recorded on April 3 -- a day before Ghosn was arrested again, this time for "suspicion of financial misconduct" while he was running Nissan. Ghosn had tweeted on April 2 that he was "getting ready to tell the truth about what's happening" and that he planned a press conference for April 11.
Ghosn's video begins with the suggestion that the clip was filmed in preparation for him being arrested: "If you are listening to me through this video today, it means that I was not able to make the press conference that I planned for April 11."
Ghosn was initially arrested in November 2018 over allegations of financial crimes. He was released on bail on March 6. Since his initial arrest, Ghosn has resigned as chairman and CEO of Renault, been voted out of Nissan's board by shareholders and is now reportedly under investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission in the US.