Thursday, 21 March, 2019

Carlos Ghosn steps out in Tokyo

Takashi Takano a lawyer for Carlos Ghosn walks out the main building as he leads a group of security guards surrounding Carlos Ghosn at the Tokyo Detention House Carlos Ghosn's lawyer apologises as workman disguise ploy backfires
Priscilla Morrison | 10 March, 2019, 02:39

The former auto titan is looking forward to the press conference he will hold next week or later, Junichiro Hironaka, another defense lawyer for Ghosn, told reporters Friday.

"Like a scene from a movie", Carlos Ghosn emerged after more than 100 days in a Tokyo detention center, flanked by guards, curiously dressed as a Japanese construction worker earlier this week.

Ghosn, who headed the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Motors alliance, has been charged with falsifying financial reports, under-reporting his income and breach of trust in having Nissan Motor Co. shoulder personal investment losses and make payments to a Saudi businessman.

"My immature plot has tarnished [Ghosn's] reputation that he has built through his life", said Takashi Takano, Ghosn's attorney, in a blog post Friday. After the Tokyo District Court accepted his bail request, Ghosn emphasized his innocence in a statement made through a USA representative, saying, "I am innocent".

He can only use a computer at his lawyer's office and will not be able to access the internet. While Ghosn was said to be relieved to be released, he initially called the bail terms "somewhat disgusting" and had to be convinced by lawyers to accept the strict terms of near house arrest.

A lawyer representing ex-Nissan chief Carlos Ghosn on Friday apologised for "tainting" the tycoon's reputation by suggesting he disguise himself as a workman to leave detention on bail. At the meeting, Ghosn is expected to be dismissed as one of the directors of the board.

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Despite that concern, experts said such restrictions were unusual and even harsh in Japan, which has faced global criticism for the prolonged detention of suspects, who are often held until a trial starts, with defence lawyers banned from interrogations. He had been detained for 108 days since November 19 and was released on 1 billion yen ($9 million) bail after his third request to the court for release on bail. "When I saw them I thought it was harsh", said Shingi Bando, an official at the Japan Bail Support Association, which offers support to people who struggle to come up with bail.

"The life of his family and his neighbours would be threatened".

The incident "threw mud" on Ghosn's "lifetime of fame", Takano added.

"It seemed as if Ghosn knew that being smart and confident in high brand suits is not always the best thing to do", he said.

On Friday evening, Ghosn left an apartment building wearing a black jumper, cap and sunglasses.

Ghosn who was sacked from Nissan remains a board member becomes any changes to the board need to be approved by shareholders. This was after he posted bail for a hefty sum of $ 9 million.

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