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Nissan's Ghosn crisis

Ghosn's lawyers renew criticism of Japan's judicial system

Defense team says client was 'ambushed' by 'hostage system of justice'

Carlos Ghosn's attorneys say the disgraced auto executive has been subjected to "punitive, inhumane and unjustified bail conditions that prohibit him from seeing or speaking with his wife and curtail his ability to mount an effective defense."   © Reuters

TOKYO (Kyodo) -- The defense team of former Nissan Motor Co. boss Carlos Ghosn on Tuesday renewed their criticism of Japan's prosecution procedures and stressed his resolve to fight the financial misconduct allegations against him as a year has passed since his initial arrest last November.

In a statement, Ghosn's global defense team said the former auto executive was subjected to a host of questionable practices during more than 100 days of detention prior to his release on bail, though "none of this has weakened (his) resolve" and he is "determined to fight these meritless allegations vigorously."

"He is looking forward to the opportunity to set the record straight and reunite with his family," the statement added.

Saying Ghosn was "ambushed" in his first arrest at Tokyo's Haneda Airport on Nov. 19 last year, the defense team denounced Japan's "hostage system of justice" under which prosecutors "detained him in solitary confinement for more than four months" and "interrogated him relentlessly for hours each day."

Additionally, they said, the Japanese authorities "imposed punitive, inhumane and unjustified bail conditions that prohibit him from seeing or speaking with his wife and curtail his ability to mount an effective defense to the charges brought against him."

Former Nissan CEO Ghosn is accused of underreporting his remuneration for the eight-year period through March 2018. While he claimed 7.8 billion yen ($72 million) in pay, prosecutors say he actually received 17 billion yen.

He is also accused of transferring a private derivatives contract that was incurring an appraisal loss of 1.85 billion yen to a Nissan account and paying $14.7 million in company funds to a Saudi businessman who extended credit to him.

In addition, Ghosn is charged with having a Nissan subsidiary in the United Arab Emirates pay a total of $10 million to a distributor in Oman between July 2017 and July 2018, and having $5 million of that transferred to a savings account at a Lebanese investment firm that Ghosn effectively owns.

The trial for Ghosn is expected to start next April.

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