The Japanese lawyer of Carlos Ghosn filed a written request to the court of Tokyo so that his client is judged separately from Nissan, charged in the case but virulent slayer of his former boss.
“We believe that having Mr. Ghosn and Nissan sitting on the same bench and judged together is a very special situation that goes against a fair trial,” said Junichiro Hironaka during a press conference.
The lawyer denounced the role of Nissan, which launched its own internal investigation in the summer of 2018 after the report of whistleblowers. The group then sent the evidence to the prosecutor’s office as part of a recent law on the negotiation of sentences, which led to the arrest of the car magnate on November 19 in Tokyo.
“Nissan is, on paper, an accused but in reality, it has taken from the beginning the party of prosecutors,” insisted Mr. Hironaka. “This is extremely rare”.
Whether it is the selection of the selected documents or the witnesses, “it is therefore very important to have not only separate procedures but also separate judges,” insisted Mr. Ghosn’s defender.
The motion also concerns Greg Kelly, the right-hand man of Mr. Ghosn, who was arrested at the same time, whom the lawyer wishes to call as a witness.
The 65-year-old Franco-Lebanese-Brazilian leader is suspected of failing to report a large part of his income between 2010 and 2018 in Nissan documents handed over to the stock market authorities. Mr. Kelly and the builder are also charged on the same point.
Carlos Ghosn, also indicted for breach of trust, was released on March 6 in exchange for the payment of a bail of one billion yen (about 8 million euros). Currently under house arrest in the Japanese capital, he denies any wrongdoing.
“He’s fine and thinks carefully about the statement he wants to make, it will happen in the near future,” promised the lawyer. “Because its reach will be significant, it takes the time to prepare well” an eagerly awaited press conference.
The builder of the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Motors alliance, the largest automotive group in terms of sales (excluding heavyweight), has been indicted by the Japanese courts on suspicion of breach of trust and under-reporting.
It is also the subject of an investigation in France, where Renault reported facts to the Nanterre public prosecutor’s office that seemed suspicious.
Like the diamond brand, Nissan has doubted financial flows – more than 30 million dollars in the case of the Japanese group – the company distributing the vehicles in Oman, which would have ultimately benefited, according to a source close folder. “We can not exclude the possibility of further prosecutions (in Japan, ed), it is in the hands of the prosecutor and we can not do anything at this stage,” warned Mr. Hironaka.
The date of the trial has not yet been set, “but it seems difficult to hold it as early as September (as reported by the media), and Mr. Ghosn will probably stay in Japan for a year or longer,” he said.