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The Wall Street Journal: ‘I have been wrongly accused and unfairly detained,’ Carlos Ghosn says in court

TOKYO — Nissan Motor Co.’s former Chairman Carlos Ghosn on Tuesday declared his innocence and countered accusations of wrongdoing from prosecutors as he made his first public appearance following his arrest more than a month ago.

“I have been wrongly accused and unfairly detained based on meritless and unsubstantiated allegations,” Ghosn said in a statement released by a representative at the beginning of the Tokyo District Court session. His lawyer had demanded that the court justify Ghosn’s continued detention.

The longtime Nissan

7201, +0.13%

  chief has been held in a Tokyo jail since Nov. 19. Tuesday’s hearing marked the first time he has appeared in public since then.

Tokyo prosecutors have charged Ghosn with underreporting his compensation by tens of millions of dollars in Nissan’s financial statements. The charge hinges on the prosecutors’ view that Ghosn deferred a portion of his compensation and intentionally didn’t report it. In Tuesday’s statement, Ghosn said he didn’t violate the law because the amount of the unpaid portion of his compensation wasn’t determined. Japanese law requires the disclosure of compensation when the amount is clear.

An expanded version of this report appears on WSJ.com.

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