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December 8, 2018

UPDATED: Nissan May be Charged for Financial Misconduct as Well

UPDATE: Nissan has been charged for making false statements in its annual reports (12/10).

The Carlos Ghosn saga has taken a dramatic new twist as Nissan itself may be charged for financial misconduct.

A report from Reuters says that Tokyo prosecutors are planning to indict former Nissan Chairman Carlos Ghosn, Representative Director Greg Kelly as well as the carmaker itself for financial misconduct on Monday, December 10, 2018. This comes as the 22-day detention of Ghosn ends on Monday—the maximum time allowed by Japanese law to detain people without formal charges.

Even if Ghosn and Kelly aren’t indicted, it’s expected that they won’t be walking away from prison. The Nikkei via Reuters reports that they are likely to be charged on the same day because of misreporting compensation for three additional years thus starting another 22-day detention period.

This is all part of Japan’s legal system where suspects are treated to sparse cells and intensive interrogation sessions. The report calls this a “hostage-based justice system.”

Quoting Reuters:
Individuals arrested in Japan are held mostly incommunicado in small, sparse cells with an exposed toilet for as many as 23 days, depending on whether it was the police or prosecutors which arrested them.  
Lawyers can visit clients in detention but cannot be present during interrogation sessions, which can last eight hours a day, for several days. 
“Suspects become anxious and lose confidence in what they’re saying,” said Osaka-based lawyer Masashi Akita, who has won only a fraction of his criminal cases over 30 years’ practice. “What’s especially hard is that suspects say prosecutors won’t listen no matter how many times they repeat themselves.” 
The Japan Federation of Bar Associations, the United Nations and human rights groups have criticized such practices. Critics have also questioned Japan’s 99.9 percent conviction rate.
In addition, Ghosn may be considered a flight risk and denied bail. In fact, prosecutors are reluctant to grant bail to those who insist on their innocence says the report.

For their part, Nissan says they are cooperating with investigators and had been preparing for the possibility of charges since the allegations against Ghosn and Kelly first emerged last month.

Source: Reuters

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