January 8, 2019 / 4:02 AM / 10 days ago

HIGHLIGHTS-Points from ousted Nissan Chairman Ghosn's court appearance

TOKYO, Jan 8 (Reuters) - Nissan Motor Co Ltd’s ousted Chairman Carlos Ghosn declared he was innocent in his first public appearance since his arrest on Nov. 19, telling a Tokyo court on Tuesday that he was wrongly accused of financial misconduct.

The following are some of the highlights from his court appearance, according to pool reports, which was requested by his lawyers and lasted for nearly two hours.

* Ghosn entered court wearing a dark suit without a tie and green plastic slippers instead of business shoes. He was handcuffed, had a rope around his waist and was led in by two guards, who uncuffed him and sat next to him on a bench.

His hair was greying at the roots and he looked thinner, with sunken cheeks making his cheekbones prominent.

* Presiding Judge Yuichi Tada read out the allegations and said Ghosn is being detained because he is seen as a flight risk and the risk he might conceal evidence.

“It has been recognised that there is a sufficient case to suspect that the suspect may affect people concerned to conceal evidence,” he said, adding that Ghosn had “bases in foreign countries” and might “escape”.

Tada also said it is possible to recognise that damage was caused to Nissan.

* Ghosn addressed the court from the dock facing the judge and read from a prepared statement in a strong voice. The courtroom was silent except for Ghosn and an interpreter.

* He said he had a “love and appreciation” of Nissan and said he had “always acted honorably and legally”. He said all his actions at Nissan had been taken with the knowledge and approval of relevant officers.

* He said he had also been head-hunted by Ford and GM after the financial crisis but had turned them down because he could not in good conscience “abandon” Nissan.

* “Contrary to accusations, I have not received any compensation from Nissan that was not disclosed.”

He said agreements about payments after leaving Nissan were “reviewed by internal and external lawyers”.

“I have always acted with integrity. I have been wrongly accused,” Ghosn said, describing the allegation against him as “unsubstantiated”.

* After reading his statement, Ghosn returned to his seat on the bench. He showed no emotion and mostly faced forward or looked down, glancing at the gallery occasionally.

* Go Kondo, one of Ghosn’s lawyers, said there was no risk Ghosn would flee since “he is so well known”. He added that there was no risk he would destroy evidence. (Reporting by Pool Reports, writing by Elaine lies; Editing by Himani Sarkar)

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