Carlos Ghosn abandoned by Japanese lawyers after escaping

Most of Carlos Ghosn’s legal team in Japan has given up his case after the impressive escape from the fugitive former Nissan chief of Tokyo.

Junichiro Hironaka, the leader of Ghosn’s legal team in Japan, said Thursday that everyone who handled the case in his office had resigned but did not give further details.

Takashi Takano, another lawyer from Ghosn’s three-person squad, also resigned on Thursday, an office official said. It is not clear if Ghosn’s third lawyer, Hiroshi Kawatsu, still represents him.

The lawyers were helping to defend Ghosn against the charges of financial crimes that the former car executive fled last month when he was allegedly smuggled out of Japan in an audio gearbox.

Ghosn has denied the charges that he did not report his future payment and diverted money from Nissan for personal gain. He said he left Japan to run away from “injustice and persecution” and that he could stay in Lebanon, where he met his wife, Carole, for the rest of his life. Japanese justice minister Masako Mori has rejected his criticism.

Ghosn’s lawyers were surprised by his fleeting surprise at the end of last month. After his rich client appeared in Beirut, Hironaka, who is known for winning important cases in a country where more than 99 percent of criminal cases lead to convictions, said Ghosn’s flight was “totally unexpected.”

Junichiro Hironaka
Junichiro HironakaReuters

“I want to ask you,‘ How could you do this to us? “Hironaka told reporters on New Year’s Eve, according to the New York Times.

In a blog post on January 4, Takano said he initially felt “a feeling of intense anger” after learning that Ghosn had skipped the bail and fled to Lebanon. But he said he understood why Ghosn left because he had been treated by the Japanese justice system.

“It is not difficult to imagine that if someone with the same financial resources, connections and behavioral powers that he had the same experience, would try the same,” Takano wrote in the publication, according to a translation.

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