Japan prosecutors slam Ghosn’s ‘unacceptable’ comments

People in Tokyo watch a public TV showing a live broadcast of former Nissan chairman Carlos Ghosn speaking from Beirut on January 8, 2020. (AP)

Tokyo prosecutors slammed former Nissan chief Carlos Ghosn on Wednesday, accusing him of “one-sided” and “unacceptable” criticism of Japan’s legal system after he jumped bail and fled the country.

In a statement after Ghosn addressed the media for the first time since his escape to Lebanon, the Tokyo prosecutor’s office also said claims they had colluded with Nissan were “categorically false and contrary to fact.”

“Ghosn’s allegations completely ignore his own conduct, and his one-sided criticism of the Japanese justice system is totally unacceptable,” the statement said.

The prosecutors said Ghosn had “only himself to blame for being arrested,” accusing him of having “flagrantly disregarded Japanese law to avoid the consequences of the crimes he committed.”

Ghosn had been in Japan on bail while awaiting trial on four financial misconduct charges when he staged an elaborate escape last month, outraging authorities in the country.

In a lengthy, combative press conference in Beirut, he said he had fled because he did not believe he could get a fair trial in Tokyo.

He denied all the charges against him and once again alleged a plot to bring him down and block his plan to more closely integrate Nissan with its French partner Renault.

In a late-night press conference in Tokyo, Japan’s Justice Minister Masako Mori accused Ghosn of misrepresenting the country’s legal system.

“He voiced various criticisms, but there are errors. The Japanese judicial system guarantees human rights and investigative agencies investigate appropriately,” she said.

Mori declined to comment on how Ghosn escaped the country, saying it was still under investigation.

Ghosn himself also refused to be drawn on the specifics of how he fled, saying he did not want to risk getting those who helped him in trouble.

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Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 10:01 - GMT 07:01
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