TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan’s justice minister launched a uncommon and forceful public takedown of auto executive-turned-fugitive Carlos Ghosn after he blasted the nation’s authorized system as permitting him “zero probability” of a good trial as he sought to justify his escape to Beirut.

FILE PHOTO: Former Nissan chairman Carlos Ghosn gestures throughout a information convention on the Lebanese Press Syndicate in Beirut, Lebanon January 8, 2020. REUTERS/Mohamed Azakir

After his dramatic flight to Lebanon final month, Ghosn spoke in public for the primary time on Wednesday, saying he had been handled “brutally” by Tokyo prosecutors. He mentioned they questioned him for as much as eight hours a day with no lawyer current and tried to extract a confession out of him.

In an effort to undo Ghosn’s try to sway public opinion in his favor, Justice Minister Masako Mori adopted shortly with an announcement, translated into English and French, and held a information convention after midnight and once more round 9:30 a.m. on Thursday morning to defend Japan’s justice system.

“I made a decision to do that as a result of defendant Ghosn was seeking to justify his illegal exit from Japan by propagating a false recognition of our justice system,” she mentioned on the second information convention.

“I felt that we would have liked to reply instantly to broadcast an accurate understanding to folks world wide.”

Ghosn, the previous chief of Nissan Motor Co Ltd (7201.T) and Renault SA (RENA.PA), fled Japan final month as he was awaiting trial on expenses of under-reporting earnings, breach of belief, and misappropriation of firm funds, all of which he denies.

Mori mentioned Ghosn’s escape from his trial in itself “might represent against the law” that might not be tolerated in any nation.

“My impression in listening to him was that there have been few statements that have been backed by any actual proof,” she mentioned. “If he needs to show his innocence, he ought to face truthful trial proceedings right here,” she added, stressing that the allegations in opposition to him involved monetary crimes in Japan.

“That may be the mark of a first-class businessperson and good citizen.”

Mori blasted Ghosn for violating his bail by fleeing the nation “with out exhibiting a passport and breaking worldwide guidelines that everybody on the earth follows”.

“It was a breach of religion that may’t be defined to our kids,” she mentioned.

The highlight on Japan’s justice system comes as Mori is ready to host in April the United Nations’ Congress on Crime Prevention and Felony Justice, held as soon as each 5 years.

Defending authorities’ jailing of Ghosn, Mori mentioned that in Japan, a suspect can solely be arrested with a warrant from the courtroom upon overview by a decide, not like in some nations the place detention is feasible with no warrant.

She added that indictments have been solely made in Japan when there was ample proof towards a conviction, saying criticism of Japan’s 99% conviction charge was due to this fact unwarranted.

Mori repeated that Japan would attempt to discover a option to convey Ghosn again from Lebanon. Interpol has issued a world arrest discover at Japan’s request, which Ghosn mentioned his attorneys might struggle.

Ghosn, for his half, mentioned he was ready to face trial in any of his three residence nations of Lebanon, France or Brazil, none of which have extradition agreements with Japan.

Reporting by Chang-Ran Kim; Modifying by Christopher Cushing

Our Requirements:The Thomson Reuters Belief Ideas.


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