January 5, 2019 / 11:17 PM / 18 days ago

Japanese prosecutors want Ghosn to sign confession, says son: paper

PARIS (Reuters) - Japanese prosecutors want Carlos Ghosn, the detained auto executive who oversaw an alliance that sold 10 million vehicles a year, to confess to financial misconduct, his son told France’s weekly Journal du Dimanche (JDD).

FILE PHOTO: Carlos Ghosn, chairman and CEO of the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance, attends a press conference on the second press day of the Paris auto show, in Paris, France, October 3, 2018. REUTERS/Regis Duvignau/File Photo

Ghosn has been held in a Tokyo detention center since his Nov. 19 arrest on allegations of under-reporting his income at Nissan Motor Co Ltd. He is also accused of aggravated breach of mistrust in transferring personal investment losses to Nissan, from which he has since been ousted as chairman.

Ghosn denies the charges against him.

Anthony Ghosn, 24, has not been allowed by Japanese authorities to see his father, who he said had lost 10 kilograms in weight eating three bowls of rice a day in detention.

In his first interview since Japanese prosecutors seized his father as he stepped off his private jet, Anthony Ghosn said his father would fight to clear his name.

Asked if his father spoke Japanese, Anthony Ghosn said he did not. “The paradox is that the confession they want him to sign is written exclusively in Japanese.”

Ghosn’s arrest marked a dramatic fall for a business leader once hailed for rescuing Nissan from the brink of bankruptcy.

The executive has been treated like others in detention, held in a small, chilly room, and denied a lawyer during interrogation.

Ghosn’s detention has drawn scrutiny upon the legal system in Japan, where legal experts say prosecutors often try to force confessions from suspects. Deputy prosecutor at the Tokyo District Public Prosecutors Office, Shin Kukimoto, last month said no such method was being used with Ghosn.

Anthony Ghosn told the JDD that his father’s lawyer has still not seen the prosecutor’s full case file.

“From what I understand, in the Japanese system, when a person is held in detention, the prosecutor reveals little by little the elements that he has at his disposal. On each occasion, my father then shares these details with his lawyers.”

Ghosn is set to make his first public appearance in seven weeks at a Tokyo court on Tuesday after he requested an open hearing to hear the reason for his continued detention.

“For the first time, he will be able to answer the allegations against him, to give his version of events,” Anthony Ghosn said, adding his father would appear in prison attire and be handcuffed.

Reporting by Richard Lough; Editing by Susan Thomas

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