Carlos Ghosn has been arrested for a fourth time in Japan on new charges of financial wrongdoing. He is the former chief of carmakers Nissan, Mitsubishi and Renault.

Government lawyers say Ghosn was arrested at his home in Tokyo Thursday. He is accused of sending $5 million dollars that was meant for a car dealer in Oman to a company he controlled.

The 65-year-old former business leader was first arrested in November. At the time, he was charged with under-reporting his pay over nearly 10 years by $82 million. He was arrested twice in December on other charges, including transferring $16 million of his personal investment losses to the Japanese carmaker.

If found guilty, he faces a sentence of up to 15 years in prison.

Ghosn released a statement Thursday denouncing his arrest as an attempt by people at Nissan to silence him.

He said that, if tried fairly, he would be found innocent.

Ghosn was released early last month after paying $9 million to ensure that he would appear for trial. He announced on Twitter Wednesday that he planned to tell the truth about the charges against him in a press conference planned for April 11.

The businessman has spent about three months in jail waiting for his trial. The case has brought international attention to Japan’s justice system. Observers have criticized methods used by Japan’s government, and what some consider limited rights of people accused of crimes.

Shin Kukimoto is deputy chief prosecutor at the Tokyo District Prosecutor’s office. He spoke to reporters about the case Thursday. Kukimoto said the new charges are different from those presented in January. At that time, government lawyers said Ghosn caused damage to Nissan to benefit himself and a business partner. In the latest charges, Kukimoto said, it was “for his own personal benefit.”

The French government also is investigating Ghosn’s financial activities at Renault SA, Nissan’s industry partner. Ghosn was chairman and chief executive officer – or, CEO – of Renault until his arrest last year.

Ghosn’s lawyer, Junichiro Hironaka, strongly criticized the government’s methods. Speaking about the renewed detention, he said, “I feel this is hostage justice.”

He added that Ghosn had prepared a video statement if he is unable to leave detention by April 11.

Nissan has held its own investigation into Ghosn’s activities. The company also faces some of the charges.

Ghosn is widely credited for helping Nissan avoid financial failure and become one of the world’s most popular carmakers. Last year, he signed a contract to continue at the company until 2022.

However, Ghosn’s high personal pay has been very unusual for a Japanese company official. It has raised suspicion in recent years.

Ghosn was born in Brazil and holds citizenship of both Brazil and France.

Exercise 1


Read the following vocabulary with your teacher.


benefit (v.) /ˈbɛnəˌfɪt/ - to be useful or helpful to (someone or something)

  • The new plan may benefit many students.


prosecutor (n.) /ˈprɑːsɪˌkjuːtɚ/ - a lawyer who represents the side in a court case that accuses a person of a crime and who tries to prove that the person is guilty



Exercise 2


Answer these questions about the article.

  1. Why was Carlos Ghosn arrested?
  2. When this happened?
  3. Was he arrested before?
  4. What was his job?



Exercise 3


Please give your opinion on the following statement and give your reasons behind it.

  • Managers should not abuse their positions of power for their own gain



Exercise 4 


Have a discussion on following questions.

  1. Is your boss good to you?
  2. Do you feel respected at work?
  3. Do you know someone that accepted or offered bribe?
  4. Do you think Carlos Ghosn did a good thing?


This lesson is based on a news article originally published by VOA Learning English.