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Carlos Ghosn, former chairman of Nissan Motor Co., leaves the office of his lawyer Junichiro Hironaka in Tokyo, Japan, on Tuesday, March 12, 2019.  Photographer: Keith Bedford/Bloomberg

On Christmas Eve, Carlos Ghosn walked into his lawyers’ modest office in central Tokyo to speak to his wife, Carole, for only the second time since April. During his long odyssey through the Japanese legal system—several arrests; more than 100 days in solitary confinement; seemingly endless interrogations; and, after his release on bail, intrusive 24-hour surveillance—Ghosn had been forced to accept many humiliations. But few demoralized the ousted leader of Nissan Motor Co. and Renault SA as much as having to seek court permission even to call his spouse, who prosecutors viewed as a potential co-conspirator in some of the wide range of financial crimes with which he’s been charged.

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