ArrowArtboardCreated with Sketch.Title ChevronTitle ChevronEye IconIcon FacebookIcon LinkedinIcon Mail ContactPath LayerIcon MailMenu BurgerPositive ArrowIcon PrintIcon SearchSite TitleTitle ChevronIcon Twitter
Nissan's Ghosn crisis

Ex-Nissan boss Ghosn replaces lawyer

Former prosecutor Otsuru makes way for high-profile defense counsel Hironaka

Motonari Otsuru, who has resigned as Carlos Ghosn's lawyer, is the former head of special investigations at the Tokyo Prosecutors' Office. (Nikkei montage)

TOKYO -- The legal battle of former Nissan Motor Chairman Carlos Ghosn took a twist on Wednesday, with the replacement of his lead defense lawyer.

Former prosecutor Motonari Otsuru and his associate Masato Oshikubo submitted their resignations to the Tokyo District Court. Otsuru was replaced by Junichiro Hironaka, a lawyer renowned for success in high profile cases. No reason was given for the change.

Hironaka and his team have previously won acquittals for Ichiro Ozawa, an influential politician who was accused of breaking political fundraising laws, and Atsuko Muraki, a former senior government official accused of involvement in abuse of the postage discount system.

Otsuru took on the role after Ghosn was arrested on Nov. 19 on suspicion of understating his compensation. As the former head of special investigations at the Tokyo Prosecutors' Office, he has a reputation for successfully leading probes into white-collar crime. 

But Otsuru has since acknowledged the challenges of the case, stating in a Jan. 8 news conference that Ghosn could be detained for "at least another six months" before his first trial.

Ghosn was denied bail on Jan. 11, when he was indicted with new charges, including aggravated breach of trust. He applied for bail again on Jan. 18, but remains in detention after the request was refused on Jan. 22.

Ghosn has denied the charges against him. In an interview with the Nikkei on Jan. 30, he said they were part of a plot by Nissan executives who were opposed to his plan for deeper integration with Renault and Mitsubishi Motors.

Sponsored Content

About Sponsored Content This content was commissioned by Nikkei's Global Business Bureau.

You have {{numberArticlesLeft}} free article{{numberArticlesLeft-plural}} left this monthThis is your last free article this month

Stay ahead with our exclusives on Asia;
the most dynamic market in the world.

Stay ahead with our exclusives on Asia

Get trusted insights from experts within Asia itself.

Get trusted insights from experts
within Asia itself.

Get Unlimited access

You have {{numberArticlesLeft}} free article{{numberArticlesLeft-plural}} left this month

This is your last free article this month

Stay ahead with our exclusives on Asia; the most
dynamic market in the world
.

Get trusted insights from experts
within Asia itself.

Try 3 months for $9

Offer ends April 19th

Your trial period has expired

You need a subscription to...

  • Read all stories with unlimited access
  • Use our mobile and tablet apps
See all offers and subscribe

Your full access to the Nikkei Asian Review has expired

You need a subscription to:

  • Read all stories with unlimited access
  • Use our mobile and tablet apps
See all offers
NAR on print phone, device, and tablet media