Spotlight: Ghosn's lawyers claim innocence, request clarification for prolonged detention

Source: Xinhua| 2019-01-08 21:54:16|Editor: xuxin
Video PlayerClose

by Xinhua writer Ye Shan

TOKYO, Jan. 8 (Xinhua) -- Carlos Ghosn, the ousted chairman of Nissan Motor Co., has committed no crimes, his legal team said in a press conference in Tokyo on Tuesday, requesting explanations for Ghosn's extended detention.

"We believe there is no reason for Mr. Ghosn to be detained," said Motonari Otsuru, Ghosn's chief lawyer, after Ghosn appeared in court for the first time since his arrest for allegations of financial misconduct.

The defense counsels have kept silent until first such news conference, as Otsuru contradicted charges of aggravated breach of trust, claiming that Ghosn has not caused any financial losses to Nissan.

Based on a foreign exchange swap contract, Ghosn's asset management company is the one shouldering all possible losses of his personal investment, Otsuru said.

When losses occur, the former chairman's asset management company would pay the loss amount to Nissan and then Nissan would pay the bank the same amount, he said.

Otsuru also contradicted the allegation of using Nissan fund to pay a reward to an acquaintance for helping with personal investment.

The 14.7-million-U.S.-dollar payment was "fair consideration for services," such as "resolving a dispute between Nissan and a Saudi leader," "rebuilding the dealer network within Saudi Arabia," and obtaining approvals and investments for construction of a Nissan factory, according to Otsuru.

The legal team said they request specific explanations for Ghosn's lengthy detention based on the facts provided in their rebuttals.

As to the matter whether Ghosn was a victim of an alleged internal coup in Nissan to get him out of leadership, Otsuru said they are not in the position to comment.

After the press conference, a request to end Ghosn's detention was filed by his lawyers to the Tokyo District Court.

In Ghosn's first public appearance on Tuesday since his arrest, the former chairman robustly maintained his innocence regarding allegations of financial misconduct.

The Nissan ex-chairman suffered a third arrest warrant on Dec. 22 for allegedly having the Japanese automaker shouldering his personal investment losses of some 1.85 billion yen (16.6 million dollars).

Ghosn was initially arrested on Nov. 19 for allegedly understating about 5 billion yen (45 million dollars) of his 10-billion-yen compensation during the five years through March 2015.

Ghosn's detention is scheduled to end on Jan. 11 and prosecutors by this time must make an ultimate decision as to whether or not to indict him over the multiple charges.