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Japan Govt. Rebukes Former Nissan Chairman's Claims About Brutal Treatment, Political Persecutions

Neer Varshney

Less than a day after former Nissan Motor Company Ltd. (OTC: NSANY) Chairman Carlos Ghosn spoke against the Japanese legal system, the country's government has countered with a response.

Japan Reacts

"Ghosn has fled from a criminal trial. That is not acceptable under any country's system," Japan's Justice Minister Masako Mori said at a press conference early Thursday, Nikkei Asian Review reported.

"He is trying to justify that act by propagating false facts about Japan's legal system. There is no way we can overlook this."

In another press conference later in the day, Mori said that Ghosn didn't back up his allegations with any evidence and that they could give the international community a wrong impression of the Japanese legal system, according to the Nikkei.

What Happened

Ghosn fled to his home country Lebanon via Turkey late December, escaping the Japanese legal system, where he faces charges of financial misconduct, including under-reporting his salary and using company assets for personal use.

The former Nissan and Renault SA (OTC: RNSDF) chairman also holds French and Brazilian passports.

In his first public engagement since arriving in Lebanon's capital Beirut, Ghosn said that the lawsuit against him was placed by "unscrupulous, vindictive individuals at Nissan."

Ghosn also blasted at the Japanese criminal justice system, saying that the prosecutors tried to extort a confession out of him as they questioned him for eight hours straight without a lawyer present.

"You are going to die in Japan, or you are going to have to get out," he said on escaping the country.

What's Next

The International Criminal Police Organization, better known as Interpol, has issued a "red notice" against Ghosn, calling for the Lebanese authorities to arrest him. Lebanon and Japan don't have an extradition treaty in place.


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