Ghosn’s wife terms Japan detention as draconian

Tokyo: Carole Ghosn, the wife of Nissan’s former chairman Carlos Ghosn, has criticized her husband’s long detention and termed Japan’s criminal justice system as unfair and harsh. 

In a letter to Human Rights Watch, a global advocacy group, on Monday, she said her husband’s is a case study in the realities of draconian system.

Carlos Ghosn led Nissan for two decades and rescued the Japanese automaker from near-bankruptcy. He was charged with falsifying financial reporting and underreporting his income and with breach of trust in having Nissan Motor Co. shoulder his personal investment losses and make payments to a Saudi businessman. He was arrested on 19 November.

Carole Ghosn’s letter described how prosecutors interrogate prisoners without any lawyers present and it is an apparent effort to get a confession. She said this is a routine for suspects in Japan. Japan’s system has come under fire from international human rights groups added her letter.

She also wrote that her husband was confined to an unheated cell and has lost almost 7 pounds in two weeks. He is denied medication, given 30 minutes to exercise daily and is allowed to bathe two or three times a week, she said.

However, Tokyo Deputy Chief Prosecutor Shin Kukimoto told reporters last week that prosecutors are confident they have a case. He denied that prosecutors are responsible for the system’s setup, and assured that they are merely doing their jobs. Prosecutors have also alleged that Ghosn may tamper with evidence, and no trial date has been set yet.

“My husband is well known as a person of unimpeachable honor, honesty and integrity,” she said in her letter. Ghosn’s family has not been able to meet with him, and so far only lawyers and embassy officials have been allowed visits.

Brad Adams, Asia director of the group, said in the statement, “Anyone arrested in Japan deserves the basic rights to the presumption of innocence, a prompt and fair bail hearing, and access to counsel, including during questioning.”

NT Bureau