Carlos Ghosn’s Japan lawyer quits after client’s flight to Lebanon

Carlos Ghosn’s Japan lawyer quits after client’s flight to Lebanon

One of the Japanese lawyers for former Nissan Chairman Carlos Ghosn has stepped down from that job after Mr Ghosn fled the country.

Junichiro Hironaka had been representing Mr Ghosn in his defence against various financial misconduct allegations.

His move, announced on Thursday, was widely expected after Mr Ghosn fled to Lebanon late last month.

Former Nissan Chairman Carlos Ghosn speaks to Japanese media in Lebanon (Meika Fujio/Kyodo News via AP)
Former Nissan Chairman Carlos Ghosn speaks to Japanese media in Lebanon (Meika Fujio/Kyodo News via AP)

In a news conference last week in Beirut, Mr Ghosn insisted again that he was innocent of the charges of under-reporting his future compensation and of breach of trust in diverting Nissan Motor Co money for his personal gain.

He said he fled because he felt he could not expect a fair trial in Japan.

Mr Ghosn’s flight while he was out on bail awaiting trial, means his case will not go on in Japan. Interpol has issued a wanted notice but his extradition from Lebanon is unlikely.

Mr Ghosn has accused Nissan officials and Japanese officials of conspiring to bring him down to block a fuller integration of Nissan with its French alliance partner Renault SA of France.

Japanese prosecutors have said repeatedly that they are confident they have a case, and Mr Ghosn’s flight underlines how he sought to skirt the law.

Nissan has also denounced Mr Ghosn. The car maker has denied recent reports about troubles in the Renault alliance and said the alliance remains strong.

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