Very quickly some people in the financial and economic spheres raise doubts in response to the violent media operation of 19 November 2018.
On discovering the reasons for the arrest, a financial analyst, interrogated by AFP calls into question the allegations made by the Japanese prosecutors and by Nissan :
“Why have the errors only been discovered now, and how did Mr Ghosn, with Greg Kelly, manage to falsify documents on their own?”.Kentaro Harada, SMBC Nikko Securities Analyst, AFP 19.11.2018
Moreover, Thierry Breton, Chairman and CEO of Atos and former Finance Minister of France states on France Inter on 21 November 2018:
“The arrest was violent in the extreme. It is extremely rare – and I know Japan well, for 10 people from the Tokyo prosecutors office to wait on the tarmac of Haneda airport with television cameras. …”.
And he continued:
“What struck me, was seeing, a few hours after the global media spectacle of Carlos Ghosn’s arrest, the CEO of Nissan giving a press conference on his own, and pre-empting the decision of the board of directors, which is the only body able to remove a member of its board. He says that the board will meet on Thursday, but he is already providing the board’s conclusions. … and that even before the board members of Renault knew what had happened. I think this case is just getting started”.
Some French business leaders show their support publicly. Stéphane Richard, Chairman and CEO of Orange, on Twitter, and Sébastien Bazin, Chairman and CEO of Accor, in les Echos, severely criticise the lynching of Carlos Ghosn and reiterate that he helped to make the number one carmaker in the world with great discipline.
In addition to this, Geoffroy Roux de Bézieux, Chairman of MEDEF, the organisation that represents French business leaders, expresses his surprise on the radio that Carlos Ghosn is suffering 23 days of detention while still not having the right to defend himself.
The arrests of Carlos Ghosn and Greg Kelly come as a shock to the global carmaking industry. They raise several questions notably in relation to a project to bring Renault and Nissan closer together that Carlos Ghosn was supposed to present and which the Financial Times revealed a few days later.
Moreover, in France, some make the argument that Carlos Ghosn, as a French citizen should have his rights respected, while others highlight what he accomplished in his career as a magnate of the industry.
Two French editorials appear in L’Opinion and le Point and the international media begin to ask questions about the real reasons behind Carlos Ghosn’s arrest and the Japanese justice system. Even the Japanese media raises questions. In France, the treatment meted out to Carlos Ghosn is even described as xenophobic.
A few days after the arrest, Le Monde asserts what the international business community understands by the removal of Carlos Ghosn: a coup organised by Nissan that will damage the reputation of Japan in the eyes of international investors.
Finally, criminal lawyers already start to identify flagrant violations of the rights of the defense.