TOKYO—A Japanese court has rejected an appeal from the lawyers of Nissan’s former chairman Carlos Ghosn over bail conditions that forbid him to contact his wife, as a prosecutor defended the restriction as needed to prevent evidence tampering.
The Kyodo News service reported May 9 the Tokyo District Court rejected the appeal filed earlier in the day. The report could not be immediately confirmed.
Deputy Chief Prosecutor Shin Kukimoto told reporters May 9 that limiting contact with Carole Ghosn was “an absolute necessity” because of risks of tampering with evidence. He also expressed outrage over Ghosn’s release. He declined to comment on the court decision, saying that was a court matter.
Ghosn’s representatives say Carole Ghosn is not permitted to meet or talk with her husband. Some legal experts had said earlier they might be able to meet under some conditions, such as having a lawyer present.
Ghosn was arrested in November on allegations of financial misconduct. He was released in March on 1 billion yen ($9 million) bail, but re-arrested April 4. He was released again April 25 on an additional 500 million yen ($4.5 million) bail.
Ghosn says he is innocent, denouncing his arrest as “a conspiracy” by some at Nissan Motor Co.
Carole Ghosn is not a suspect, but is mentioned in the newest allegations that center on payments by an Oman business to operations allegedly run by Ghosn.
She was called in for questioning by a judge last month.
In a statement issued earlier this week, representatives of Ghosn and his family denied that communication among family members might lead to destruction of evidence, and said Japan’s reputation was being tarnished.
Ghosn has been charged with falsifying financial documents to under-report post-retirement compensation and of breach of trust in diverting Nissan money and allegedly having it shoulder his personal investment losses.
Carole Ghosn was living with her husband in a small Tokyo apartment after his first release and was present when he was arrested again. In an interview with the Nikkei newspaper on May 9, she criticized the restrictions on her contact with her husband as a violation of human rights.
Ghosn’s trial might not start for months as long preparations are common. Both sides acknowledge his case is complex.
By Yuri Kageyama