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Carlos Ghosn: Arrest is a plot to destroy my reputation

Former Nissan chief Carlos Ghosn has slammed his ongoing detention, telling the AFP news agency and a French newspaper the decision to refuse him bail “would not be normal in any other democracy”. “Why am I being punished before being found guilty,” Ghosn asked, speaking to AFP and the Les Echos daily on Thursday in his…

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Carlos Ghosn: Arrest is a plot to destroy my reputation

Former Nissan chief Carlos Ghosn has slammed his ongoing detention, telling the AFP news agency and a French newspaper the decision to refuse him bail “would not be normal in any other democracy”.

“Why am I being punished before being found guilty,” Ghosn asked, speaking to AFP and the Les Echos daily on Thursday in his first interview with foreign media since his arrest on November 19.

Ghosn, who is being held at a Tokyo detention centre on three charges of financial misconduct, said his arrest was “a story of betrayal”.   

“There is no question about this,” he said, speaking firmly and clearly in English, dressed in a black tracksuit and plastic sandals.    

“I have in front of me an army at Nissan, more than hundreds of people are dedicated to the case, 70 people at the prosecutor’s office, and I am being left in prison for more than 70 days,” he added.

“No phone, no computer… how can I defend myself?”

The 64-year-old Franco-Brazilian-Lebanese tycoon said he was the victim of a “plot” caused by opposition to his plans to fully integrate the alliance he led of Nissan, Mitsubishi Motors and France’s Renault.

And he said Nissan was trying to “destroy my reputation”.

“I have an army of people throwing trash at me every day,” he said.

“There are not only allegations of the prosecutors, but also those of Nissan. They take a lot of facts out of their context. It is a distortion of reality to destroy my reputation.”

No sense of time

Once feted in Japan for his role in turning around Nissan, Ghosn has gone from flying around the world in a private jet to a cell in Tokyo’s Kosuge detention centre.

He spoke without emotion, but said it was “very hard” to be unable to call his family.    

“Since November 19, I could not even call my wife Carole, my children,” he said.   

He said the lights were on even at night, and with no watch or clock, he had “no sense of time”.    

“I have only 30 minutes to go outside on the roof. I’m craving for fresh air. Yes, I am strong, but obviously, I am tired.”

Nonetheless, Ghosn, speaking from behind a window and flanked by two guards, did not appear noticeably gaunt and walked confidently into the room.     

Japanese authorities did not permit any cameras or recording equipment to be used during the interview.    

Ghosn has only been seen in public once since his arrest, during a January 8 court appearance where he denied any wrongdoing.

He faces three charges of financial misconduct, including claims he under-reported his salary, tried to shift personal losses onto Nissan’s books and used company funds to compensate a friend.

He denies any wrongdoing and repeated on Thursday that “there is not one yen that I have received that was not reported”.

The court has judged Ghosn a flight risk who could tamper with evidence if freed, and his own lawyer has acknowledged the tycoon is unlikely to win bail before a trial, which could take at least six months.

He has pledged to stay in Japan, wear a tracking device and even hire guards of the court’s choosing, but to no avail.

“I have done everything I can to show I can’t flee, to reassure them I would not destroy any evidence,” he said on Thursday.

Ghosn’s arrest has laid bare tensions in the alliance he forged and led among Nissan, Mitsubishi Motors and French automaker Renault.

While the Japanese firms moved quickly to remove Ghosn from leadership positions, Renault was more cautious about the allegations against him, and he resigned before a board meeting to discuss removing him there.

Renault currently owns 43 percent of Nissan, which itself has a 15 percent stake in the French company.

But Nissan overtook its French partner compared with when the alliance was created and Ghosn said he believed his attempts to further integrate the alliance prompted a backlash among the Japanese firm’s executives that resulted in his arrest.

“There was a resistance from the beginning,” he said.

During his sole court appearance, Ghosn spoke fondly of Nissan, and he said that affection endured despite his situation.

“I love Japan, I love Nissan. I have dedicated so many years to revive the company, to rebuild it again,” he said.

“I have nothing against the company.”

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Some officials saw risk of Beirut blast but failed to act – human rights group

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Some officials saw risk of Beirut blast but failed to act – human rights group

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Iran supreme leader endorses hard-line protégé as president

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Where to vaccinate kids aged 3-17 in Abu Dhabi

Earlier today, the UAE became one of the first countries in the world to approve the administration of the vaccine to this age group. The Department of Health — Abu Dhabi (DoH) has announced that Sinopharm Covid-19 vaccine is now available to children aged 3 to 17 years at multiple locations across the emirate. This…

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Where to vaccinate kids aged 3-17 in Abu Dhabi

Earlier today, the UAE became one of the first countries in the world to approve the administration of the vaccine to this age group.

The Department of Health — Abu Dhabi (DoH) has announced that Sinopharm Covid-19 vaccine is now available to children aged 3 to 17 years at multiple locations across the emirate.
This came after the Ministry of Health and Prevention approved the vaccine for emergency use among children aged three and above.
Walk-in vaccinations are available at Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre, Al Mushrif Children’s Specialty Centre- Seha, Al Mushrif Majlis, Al Bateen Majlis and Al Manhal Majlis.
For children in Al Ain region, the DoH said vaccinations are available at Al Kubaisi Hall of Al Ain Exhibition Centre, Al Towayya Children’s Specialty Centre — Seha and Falaj Hazza Majlis.
Also read: Sinopharm vaccine for kids aged 3 and above in UAE
Following approval by the Ministry of Health and Prevention for emergency use, which was based on clinical trials and local evaluation, @DoHSocial now offers Sinopharm vaccine to children aged 3-17 in multiple locations across the emirate. pic.twitter.com/P3EOKdcCvj— (@admediaoffice) August 2, 2021
In Al Dhafra region, children aged 3-17 can get their vaccinations at Ghayati Hospital, Liwa Hospital, Marfa Hospital, Sila Hospital, Delma Hospital, Al Dhafra Family Medicine Centre and Al Dhafra Cooperative Society.
The decision is in line with efforts to combat the pandemic and provide protection for all community members.— (@admediaoffice) August 2, 2021
The Department of Health – Abu Dhabi said the approval was based on clinical trials and local evaluation.
Earlier today, the UAE became one of the first countries in the world to approve the administration of the vaccine to this age group.
The approval follows a trial that was conducted in Abu Dhabi to monitor the immune response of 900 children to the vaccine.

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