Daily Management Review

Former Nissan Boss Ghosn's Allegations 'Absolutely Intolerable': Japan Justice Minister


Former Nissan Boss Ghosn's Allegations 'Absolutely Intolerable': Japan Justice Minister
Shortly after the former boss of Nissan Carlos Ghosn, who had fled Japan jumping bail over charges of financial misconduct, made scathing criticism of the Japanese legal system, Justice Minister Masako Mori said on Thursday that the accusations made by Ghosn about the legal system of Japan are "absolutely intolerable".
Ghosn last month had fled Japan and gone to Lebanon where he held a press conference to explain why he had fled Japan and come to Beirut. While talking to reports, the former Nissan boss turned fugitive had alleged that Tokyo prosecutors had treated him "brutally" and that he had been questioned in sessions which lasted for up to eight hours a day without the presence of a lawyer on his part. He alleged that the aim of the prosecutors was to extract a confession form him.
Ghosn's escape from his trial in itself "could constitute a crime", said Japanese justice minister replying to the accusations leveled by Ghosn in a statement that was issued shortly after midnight and was translated into English and French.
"Such action would not be condoned under any nation's system," Mori said. "Furthermore, he has been propagating both within Japan and internationally false information on Japan's legal system and its practice. That is absolutely intolerable."
Ghosn was set to face trial in Japan over charges of financial misconduct which included under-reporting earnings, breach of trust and misappropriation of company funds. The former chief of Nissan Motor Co Ltd and Renault SA has denied all the charges leveled against him.
Unlike in some countries where detention is possible without a warrant, a suspect can only be arrested with a warrant from the court upon review by a judge in Japan, Mori said while trying ot defend the authorities' jailing of Ghosn.
The accusations made by Ghosn about the Japanese legal system come ahead of the United Nations' Congress on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice – a once in five year affair, that would be held in Japan in April. The case of Ghosn and his accusations has brought international spotlight on the justice system in Japan.
"I will continue to provide information and answer questions actively to ensure a more accurate understanding of Japan's criminal justice system by people around the world," Mori said in the statement.
Even though there is no extradition treaty between Lebanon and Japan, authorities in Tokyo are still trying to get Ghosn bank in the country, the ministry has said.
"If defendant Ghosn has anything to say, it is my strong hope that he engage in all possible efforts to make his case within Japan's fair criminal justice proceedings, and that he seek justice rendered by a Japanese court," Mori said.
Ghosn has also said that he had "zero chance" of a fair trial in Japan which prompted him to escape the country. He also added that he is ready to face trial on the charges brought against him in a court in any of the three home countries of Lebanon, France or Brazil. It should be noted that Japan does not have an extradition treaty with any of these three countries.