Former Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn has been publicly fighting Japan’s charges of financial crimes against him since fleeing the country.
Ghosn repeatedly denied the charges against him and claimed that he was a victim of a corporate coup by other Nissan executives who were afraid that he might engineer a takeover by Renault.
He also claimed that he was a victim of Japan’s ancient hostage justice system in which suspects are held in harsh conditions for long periods to coerce a confession. He was arrested four times so that can detain him continuously. He spent 129 days in solitary confinement as part of his provisional detention and was interrogated so many times. The sessions lasted around five hours a day without the presence of his lawyers.
His horrible situation prompted him to escape Japan to Lebanon and fight the lawsuit against him in the public arena.
Japanese authorities engage in “extrajudicial abuse of process”
On Monday, Ghosn got good news. A UN human rights group may have finally given him, some vindication, with its unanimous finding that his detention was “arbitrary.” Japanese authorities violated his human rights.
The United Nations Human Rights Council’s Working Group oa Arbitrary Detention concluded that Ghosn should receive “compensation and other reparation” and called for the Japanese government to do a “full and independent investigation.”
In a 17-page opinion, the group says Japan should “take appropriate measures against those responsible for the violation of (Ghosn’s) rights.”
At the time of his arrest, Ghosn was Nissan’s CEO and Chairman. He was also serving as head of Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance.
He continues to insist he is innocent. And he has emails and documents that allege that Hari Nada and Hiroto Saikawa, Nissan’s top executives led a campaign to topple Ghosn from the car alliance. Saikawa got his job after he was arrested.
Brazilian-born Ghosn was arrested in November 2018 on charges of hiding millions in income. He was detained at the Tokyo Detention Center for four months.
He alleged that his months in jail amounted to torture. He spent all his time in a small, unheated cell being interrogated without an attorney for hours.
When he was released on bail, he still had severe restrictions. He was not allowed to meet with his wife, son, or daughter. He had limited use of a phone and could only access the internet from his attorney’s office.
Japanese prosecutors added new charges multiple times, both while he was jailed and after he was on bail. The UN panel said Monday that the “repeated arrest of Mr. Ghosn appears to be an abuse of process intended to ensure that he remained in custody,” and concluded it was “an extrajudicial abuse of process that can have no legal basis under international law.”
Ghosn escapes with the help of Americans
In 2019, it is alleged that former Green Beret Michael L. Taylor and his team were paid to help Ghosn escape to Lebanon. The ex-Nissan boss was concealed in a large music equipment box used and flown out of Japan on a private jet.
A citizen of Lebanon, Ghosn is safe from extradition, since the country has no extradition treaty with Japan. But Taylor and his son have been jailed for 6 months with no bail, at the Norfolk County Correctional Center in Massachusetts.
They are fighting extradition to Japan. Taylor told a local TV station last week that his family is appealing to President Donald Trump to intervene.
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