The Ghosn arrest story has produced so many twists and turns that we've almost become accustomed to it as the industry's background noise (not unlike the emissions scandal, it appears to be rumbling interminably on and on). The latest twist though is too spectacular to ignore: a video message produced by the man himself, and apparently recorded in anticipation of him being re-arrested ahead of a tell-all press conference on Thursday - an event which duly occurred.
Consequently, the 7-minute video - Ghosn's first public address since his detention last year - has a weird, message-in-a-bottle feel to it. Primarily, of course, he professes his innocence: "The first message is I'm innocent. It's not new, you have heard it from me in January, I repeat it today. I'm innocent of all the charges which have been brought against me. And I'm also innocent of all the accusations that came around these charges that are all bias, taken out of context, twisted in a way to create a personage of greed and a personage of dictatorship."
His second point is that he "loves Japan, and loves Nissan." He is at pains to remind the viewer that he committed himself to the revival of Nissan, and his affection for the brand is "untainted" even now. The bullet he saves for the third point: "This is a conspiracy. This is not about specific events, this is not about greed, this is not about dictatorship - this is about a plot, this is about conspiracy, this is about backstabbing; that's what we're talking about."
Ghosn goes on to paint a familiar picture: that he has been framed by colleagues who were threatened by the likely next step in the firm's alliance. He names no one in particular, but rounds on them for not having Nissan's best interests at heart or for having an alternative 'vision for the future'.
According to Reuters, the video was edited to remove specific accusations on legal grounds, but Ghosn's 'sickening' contempt for the firm's current leadership remains transparent. He has also been critical of Japanese prosecutors, who are free to hold suspects for up to 22 days and interrogate them without the presence of their lawyers.
Ghosn's latest arrest - on the basis of fresh allegations - is said to be highly unusual, and returns him to the Tokyo detention centre where he has already been incarcerated for 108 days. A statement released through his lawyers described his return to custody as, "another attempt by some individuals at Nissan to silence me by misleading the prosecutors. Why arrest me except to try to break me? I will not be broken."