Ex-Nissan Chairman Ghosn’s Lawyers to Give News Conference: FCCJ

January 8, 2019 Updated: January 8, 2019

TOKYO—Lawyers of ousted Nissan Motor Co. Ltd. Chairman Carlos Ghosn are scheduled to give a news conference on Jan. 8, the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Japan (FCCJ) said on its website on Jan. 7, their first such public appearance.

The three lawyers, headed by chief lawyer Motonari Otsuru, will speak at the FCCJ hours after Ghosn makes his first public appearance in seven weeks at a Tokyo court after he requested an open hearing to hear the reason for his continued detention.

Ghosn’s arrest has put Japan’s criminal justice system under international scrutiny and sparked criticism for some of its practices, including keeping suspects in detention for long periods and prohibiting defense lawyers from being present during interrogations, which can last eight hours a day.

The lawyers’ news conference will be at 3:00 p.m. local time (1:00 a.m. EST), the FCCJ said. Otsuru’s office confirmed to Reuters that the news conference will take place but could not give further details.

Ghosn was arrested on Nov. 19 on allegations of financial misconduct, followed by re-arrests over further allegations. He has already been indicted for under-reporting his income, but local media has said he has denied the allegation.

Last week, the court approved extending his detention to Jan. 11 after he was re-arrested by prosecutors who accuse him of aggravated breach of trust in transferring personal investment losses to Nissan.

Ghosn’s arrest was followed by his removal from roles at Nissan and Mitsubishi Motors Corp. The case has rocked the auto industry and strained Nissan’s ties with French partner Renault SA  where he still remains chairman and chief executive.

Nissan CEO Hiroto Saikawa told AFP that the automaker’s alliance with Renault is not in danger at all, the news agency reported on Jan. 7. He declined to comment directly on the case against Ghosn, AFP said.

Ghosn is being held in the spartan Tokyo Detention Center, a tower-like structure in the eastern part of Tokyo—a place that, with its many rules and restrictions, makes for a stark contrast with his comfortable, globe-trotting lifestyle prior to his arrest.

By Elaine Lies