Ghosn’s ques­tion­ing av­er­aged seven hours a day

Antelope Valley Press - - BUSINESS -

TOKYO (AP) — A lawyer for former Nis­san Chair­man Car­los Ghosn, who fled to Le­banon while await­ing trial in Ja­pan, said his client was ques­tioned an av­er­age of seven hours a day with­out a lawyer present.

Takashi Takano said on his blog post Satur­day the ques­tion­ing con­tin­ued through week­ends, Thanks­giv­ing and Christ­mas.

Takano has said he told Ghosn he couldn’t ex­pect a fair trial in Ja­pan, but his chances of win­ning were good be­cause the ev­i­dence against him was so weak.

Ja­pan’s ju­di­cial sys­tem has come un­der fire over Ghosn’s case. Crit­ics have for years said the pro­longed de­ten­tions tend to co­erce false con­fes­sions. Sus­pects can be de­tained even with­out any charges.

Ja­panese pros­e­cu­tors and Jus­tice Min­is­ter Masako Mori have re­peat­edly de­fended the na­tion’s sys­tem as up­hold­ing hu­man rights, not­ing Ja­pan boasts a low crime rate. Mori said the sys­tem fol­lows ap­pro­pri­ate pro­ce­dures un­der Ja­panese law, stress­ing that ev­ery cul­ture is dif­fer­ent.

Takano said he re­cently looked at pros­e­cu­tors’ data and Ghosn’s notes to tally the hours of ques­tion­ing for 70 of the days Ghosn was de­tained. On three days, Ghosn had been ques­tioned for some 11 hours, ac­cord­ing to Takano’s tally.

Ghosn was de­tained un­der two sep­a­rate ar­rests for 130 days. He has been charged with un­der­re­port­ing his fu­ture com­pen­sa­tion and of breach of trust in di­vert­ing Nis­san Mo­tor Co. money for al­leged per­sonal gain.

In a news con­fer­ence in Beirut last­ing more than two hours, Ghosn re­asserted his in­no­cence, and ac­cused Nis­san and Ja­panese gov­ern­ment of­fi­cials of plot­ting his re­moval.

Ghosn, who led Nis­san for two decades, has said the com­pen­sa­tion was never de­cided, and the pay­ments were for le­git­i­mate busi­ness.

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