Opposition to Renault-Nissan integration behind my arrest: Ghosn

Former head of Renault and Nissan Carlos Ghosn has said that internal opposition to greater integration of the two car giants was behind his arrest in Japan. Speaking to AFP and a French daily from his Tokyo detention centre where he is fighting charges of financial misconduct, Ghosn said, "There was opposition and anxiety on the project of bringing the two companies together."

Recently, a Tokyo court had denied bail to Ghosn, who was arrested on November 19 last year on allegations of financial misconduct. In a public statement, Ghosn had set out a series of steps he hoped would convince the court he was not about to flee Japan. He vowed to hand over his three passports, wear an electronic tagging device and increased the amount of bail money offered.

Ghosn also promised to hire security guards approved by prosecutors to monitor him and said he would not contact anyone connected with the case. "As the court considers my bail application, I want to emphasise that I will reside in Japan and respect any and all bail conditions the court concludes are warranted," he said in a statement released by his US-based representatives.

He vowed to attend any subsequent trial "not only because I am legally obligated to do so, but because I am eager to finally have the opportunity to defend myself". "I am not guilty of the charges against me and I look forward to defending my reputation in the courtroom," he concluded. An official at the Japanese justice ministry was quoted as saying by AFP: "There is no system in Japan in which a person accused in a criminal case can be released with such a tracking bracelet. The court sets the bail sum and can also add appropriate conditions such as limitations on where the accused should stay."