Thinner and grayer, former Nissan Motor Co. Chairman Carlos Ghosn on Jan. 8 denied all allegations against him during his first appearance in public since his arrest in November.

“I am innocent of the accusations made against me. I have always acted with integrity and have never been accused of any wrongdoing in my several-decade professional career,” Ghosn told the Tokyo District Court. “I have been wrongly accused and unfairly detained based on meritless and unsubstantiated accusations.”

In his 27-minute-long statement, including time for interpretation, he also emphasized that he turned the automaker into one of the most revered companies in Japan.

Ghosn, 64, is accused of under-reporting his annual remuneration over several years in Nissan’s securities reports and shifting his personal investment losses to the automaker.

The court hearing, which started at 10:30 a.m., was held after Ghosn’s lawyer submitted a request for disclosure of the reasons for his detention, based on the Constitution and the Criminal Procedure Law.

After reading out a statement on the allegations, Presiding Judge Yuichi Tada said, “It was acknowledged that there are reasonable grounds to believe the allegations, given the evidence presented to the court.”

But when Ghosn’s lawyer asked the judge to specify the reasons for believing the allegations, Tada declined to answer, citing the ongoing investigation.

As for the reason for Ghosn’s detention, Tada cited the possibility that the suspect could contact related people to destroy evidence or could flee Japan, given his residences overseas.

Ghosn had a solemn look when he listened to the judge.

The suspect, wearing a navy blue suit and white shirt, entered the court in handcuffs and a rope tied around his waist.

He was forbidden from wearing a tie to prevent a possible suicide attempt. He also wore sandals instead of shoes, a rule intended to thwart escape attempts.

Although he had more gray hair and sunken cheeks compared with his appearance before his arrest, Ghosn looked poised.

He glanced around the gallery before he was seated on the row just before his lawyers.

According to a relative, Ghosn has lost about 10 kilograms while being detained at the Tokyo Detention House since his first arrest on Nov. 19.

In December, he was indicted on charges of under-reporting his annual pay between fiscal 2010 and 2014.

“I never received any compensation from Nissan that was not disclosed, nor did I ever enter into any binding contract with Nissan to be paid a fixed amount that was not disclosed,” he said.

On Dec. 21, when it appeared that Ghosn would be released from detention, prosecutors re-arrested him on suspicion of aggravated breach of trust in violation of the Companies Law. He is accused of transferring to Nissan in October 2008 unrealized losses of 1.85 billion yen ($17.03 million) incurred through a contract of his personal investment.

He also had a Nissan Dubai subsidiary provide $14.7 million (about 1.6 billion yen) to Khaled Juffali, a long-time acquaintance and wealthy businessman in Saudi Arabia, for his help in securing a bank credit guarantee when Ghosn transferred the rights to the contract back to him in February 2009, prosecutors said.

At the court hearing on Jan. 8, Ghosn expressed his gratitude to Nissan at the start of his prepared statement.

“I have a genuine love and appreciation for Nissan,” he said. “I have acted honorably, legally and with the knowledge and approval of the appropriate executives inside the company.”

He concluded the statement by emphasizing his accomplishments over the past 20 years in reviving Nissan and forming an automaking alliance that became the world’s largest in 2017.

Ghosn said he had no intention to cause losses to the company, and he insisted that no damage was actually done concerning the transfer of his contract to Nissan.

His lawyer said the transfer of the contract does not constitute aggravated breach of trust because it was shifted to Nissan only as a matter of form, and that an agreement was in place that the transfer would not hurt the carmaker.

As for the $14.7 million payment to Juffali, Ghosn said it was an appropriate price to pay for his extremely important duties for Nissan. Ghosn also said the payment was based on invoices and received approval from individuals concerned.

Ghosn’s lawyer, referring to an earlier interview with the Saudi businessman, quoted Juffali as saying that the prosecutors’ argument has defamed him and his company.

A total of 1,122 people lined up early in the morning to seek 14 available seats in the public gallery in the court.