Share

Lawyers leading defense of Nissan ex-chairman Ghosn quits

Share

TOKYO (AP) — Junichiro Hironaka, a lawyer famous for winning extremely rare acquittals in Japan, has been tapped to defend Nissan’s former chairman Carlos Ghosn as he battles charges of false financial reporting and breach of trust.

The move, confirmed Wednesday by Ghosn and Hironaka’s office, underscores Ghosn’s determination to prove his innocence. The odds are against him: In Japanese courts, 99 percent of cases get guilty verdicts.

Ghosn thanked his former legal team “for their tireless and diligent work and courage during the interrogation phase,” but said he wanted to hire a different lawyer for the trial.

“As we begin the trial phase, I have decided to engage Hironaka-sensei as my legal counsel,” Ghosn said in a statement, referring to Hironaka with the honorific for “teacher,” often used in Japan for lawyers.

“I look forward to defending myself vigorously, and this represents the beginning of the process of not only establishing my innocence but also shedding light on the circumstances that led to my unjust detention,” said Ghosn, who has been held at a detention center since his arrest on Nov. 19.

Trending:
Biden's Got Big Trouble This Fall: Powerful Trump-Era Figure Hauls in Jaw-Dropping Amount of Cash

Motonari Ohtsuru, the lawyer who had initially headed his defense, resigned as of Wednesday.

Hironaka has won some high profile cases including the acquittal in 2012 of a senior lawmaker, Ichiro Ozawa, who was charged with false accounting in a land deal.

Attorney Hiroshi Kawatsu, an expert in judicial reform who has studied and done research in the U.S., also has joined Ghosn’s defense team, Hironaka’s office said.

Hironaka and Kawatsu were not immediately available for comment.

The two do not share Ohtsuru’s background as a former star Tokyo prosecutor.

In Japan, lawyers who are former prosecutors are thought to have an edge thanks to their deep understanding of prosecutors work.

But Ohtsuru and Ghosn have appeared at odds over his defense strategy, with Ghosn strongly asserting his innocence from the start through his own statements, as well as those of his other lawyers, family members and representatives.

Ghosn has tried without success to gain release on bail, offering to wear an electronic monitoring device and hire security guards acceptable to the authorities.

In a recent interview with The Associated Press, lawyer Akira Kitani, a former judge praised for handing down innocent verdicts, said he thought Ghosn should replace Ohtsuru, and “the sooner the better.”

Related:
GOP Congressman Who Voted to Impeach Trump Announces Retirement

He suggested Ohtsuru had not been forceful enough in asserting his client’s innocence.

Unlike in the U.S., in Japan prosecutors can appeal to a higher court if a suspect is found innocent. Japanese prosecutors also tend to have more influence with judges.

The Tokyo District Court, prosecutors and Ghosn’s lawyers were scheduled to meet Thursday to work on preparing for his trial.

Trials in Japan take much preparation and the meeting does not mean it will start soon.

___

Yuri Kageyama is on Twitter at https://twitter.com/yurikageyama

On Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/yurikageyama/?hl=en

The Western Journal has not reviewed this Associated Press story prior to publication. Therefore, it may contain editorial bias or may in some other way not meet our normal editorial standards. It is provided to our readers as a service from The Western Journal.

Truth and Accuracy

Submit a Correction →



We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.

Tags:
Share
The Associated Press is an independent, not-for-profit news cooperative headquartered in New York City. Their teams in over 100 countries tell the world’s stories, from breaking news to investigative reporting. They provide content and services to help engage audiences worldwide, working with companies of all types, from broadcasters to brands.
The Associated Press was the first private sector organization in the U.S. to operate on a national scale. Over the past 170 years, they have been first to inform the world of many of history's most important moments, from the assassination of Abraham Lincoln and the bombing of Pearl Harbor to the fall of the Shah of Iran and the death of Pope John Paul.

Today, they operate in 263 locations in more than 100 countries relaying breaking news, covering war and conflict and producing enterprise reports that tell the world's stories.
Location
New York City




Conversation

The Western Journal is pleased to bring back comments to our articles! Due to threatened de-monetization by Big Tech, we had temporarily removed comments, but we have now implemented a solution to bring back the conversation that Big Tech doesn't want you to have. If you have any problems using the new commenting platform, please contact customer support at commenting-help@insticator.com. Welcome back!