Former Renault and Nissan CEO, Carlos Ghosn, stunned Japanese media and the public when he appeared dressed as a construction worker on Wednesday in an effort to avoid being noticed by the press as he left prison.
But instead of going unnoticed, Ghosn’s outfit caused a media frenzy on Japanese television after he was spotted wearing a surgical mask, a construction worker’s outfit, and a blue cap, and taken away in a work van with a ladder on top.
Ghosn left roles with both carmakers after being charged with financial misconduct. He faces 15 years in jail if convicted.
His lead defence lawyer, Takashi Takano, the mastermind behind the outfit, apologised in a Friday blog post for the fiasco.
“Due to my immature plan, I have muddled the fame he built over a lifetime [...] I am very sorry,” wrote Takano.
The lawyer explained he had come up with the idea to disguise Ghosn so his client could be released without being noticed by the press and taken to a secret location to "get back into a normal social life" with his family who was in Japan.
Although freed from prison after paying an €8 million bail, Ghosn will stay under 24-hour camera surveillance and is banned from speaking to other involved parties about the case including Nissan management.
The CEO's trial could be from a few months to a year away and if any of the conditions for his release are violated, Ghosn could end up in jail again.
Ghosn who was fired from Nissan remains a board member becomes any changes to the board need to be approved by shareholders. But in the case that he wishes to attend a board meeting, the former CEO will have to ask the court's permission.