Ex-Nissan boss Ghosn speaks to wife after Japan court permission

Kazuhiro Nogi

Former Nissan boss Carlos Ghosn spoke to his wife for the first time in eight months on Friday, his spokesman said, after a Tokyo court lifted a ban on contact between the pair.

Ghosn is on bail in Tokyo as he awaits trial on four charges of financial misconduct related to his time as chairman of the Japanese car giant he is widely credited with saving from the brink of bankruptcy.

Ghosn spoke to his wife Carole, now in New York, for an hour shortly after noon via videoconference, the spokesman for the family told AFP without clarifying details of their conversation.

The Tokyo District Court had banned Ghosn from contacting his wife Carole despite several petitions from the tycoon's legal team, who have described the measure as "cruel" and a "punishment".

Ahead of their talks, a statement from the family said the call would be limited to one hour and lawyers will be present.

"They will have to limit themselves to discussion topics defined by the judge. The content of the conversation will then be transferred to the judge and prosecutors," the statement said.

The family reiterated their plea for these "excessive, cruel and inhumane bans" to be lifted so the couple's "fundamental rights" can be respected.

It is just over a year since Japanese prosecutors boarded Ghosn's plane at a Tokyo airport, sending shockwaves through the business community.

The 65-year-old tycoon spent 130 days in detention before winning bail ahead of a trial likely to take place next year.

He strenuously denies all the charges against him and is seeking to have the case thrown out, arguing the prosecutors and Nissan investigators have acted illegally during the probe into his alleged misconduct.

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