Nissan ex-chair Ghosn cancels news conference in Tokyo

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FILE – In this April 25, 2019, file photo, former Nissan Chairman Carlos Ghosn leaves Tokyo Detention Center in Tokyo. Ghosn plans a news conference later Friday, June 28, that would be his first since he was arrested in November on financial misconduct allegations.(Kyodo News via AP, File)

TOKYO (AP) — Former Nissan Chairman Carlos Ghosn canceled his news conference planned for Friday within hours of its announcement, citing opposition from his family and media adviser.

It would have been his first such appearance since he was arrested in November on financial misconduct allegations, and timed with the Group of 20 summit of world leaders being held in Osaka, Japan.

The reason for the cancellation was not given, but Ghosn had been rearrested after scheduling a news conference in April during a previous release from detention.

At the time, his lawyers released a video statement in which Ghosn asserted his innocence and accused some executives at the Japanese automaker of a “conspiracy” that led to his arrest.

Ghosn is out on bail and is awaiting trial on charges of falsifying financial documents on retirement compensation and charges of breach of trust by diverting Nissan Motor Co. money for personal gain. He has spent 130 days in detention over the two arrests.

Ghosn says he is innocent.

The Foreign Correspondents Club in Tokyo had invited reporters to the news conference. But Ghosn’s family and media adviser met with him after the announcement, the club said in a statement.

The conditions for Ghosn’s release on bail include forbidding contact with his wife Carole Ghosn, who has spoken out about Japan’s justice system. She and her husband’s lawyers have criticized the restriction as a violation of human rights.

Prosecutors say the restriction is needed to prevent evidence tampering.

He is not restricted in interacting with his children or other family members.

Ghosn’s departure has raised questions about the stability of Nissan’s relationship with French alliance partner Renault, which owns 43% of Nissan.

Ghosn’s trial likely won’t start until next year, according to his legal team.

Ghosn, 65, a Brazilian-born Frenchman of Lebanese ancestry, led Nissan for two decades, saving it from near bankruptcy. He has been ousted from Nissan’s board, and he has resigned from the board of Renault.

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