France’s foreign minister on Saturday urged Tokyo to ensure consular protection and the presumption of innocence in talks with his Japanese counterpart over the case of Carlos Ghosn, after the re-arrest of the former Nissan and Renault boss in Japan.
Jean-Yves Le Drian said he had talked about the Ghosn case with Taro Kono on the sidelines of the meeting of Group of Seven (G7) foreign ministers in the French resort of Dinard.
Their talks came a day after a Japanese court ruled Ghosn must remain in custody until at least Apr 14 following his re-arrest in Tokyo.
“I of course spoke about the the Ghosn case with my colleague,” Le Drian told reporters after the end of the G7 meeting.
“I told him two things: That France respects completely the sovereignty and independence of the Japanese judiciary. And I also reminded him of our attachment to the presumption of innocence and the full rights of consular protection.”
Ghosn spent 108 days in detention in northern Tokyo before being dramatically released on bail of around US$9 million on Mar 6.
But his re-arrest last week came as authorities look into new allegations that Ghosn transferred some US$15 million in Nissan funds between late 2015 and mid-2018 to a dealership in Oman.
In an interview with French television recorded just before his latest arrest, the businessman, who holds French, Brazilian and Lebanese nationalities, called on the French government “to defend me,” and press the Japanese authorities respect the presumption of innocence.
Ghosn had long been lauded as the architect of the alliance between Renault and Nissan – and later Mitsubishi – before his shock arrest in Tokyo in November.