- Carlos Ghosn was now allowed to leave the Tokyo Detention Center.
- He can not leave Japan. He is also allowed to use mobile phones and computers only to a limited extent.
Led by police, with a face mask and a light blue baseball cap on his head, Renault-Nissan's downed boss left the Tokyo Detention Center Wednesday at half past four in which he had served 108 days. Previously, a bail of one billion yen was deposited for the 64-year-old, the equivalent of 7.9 million euros.
Carlos Ghosn looked around and headed for a waiting black Toyota minibus with darkened windows. The police, however, directed him to a tiny Suzuki van Ghosn squeezed. Then the small car roared towards the city center, pursued by photographers on motorcycles and television helicopters. Japan's most important criminal case for years, which is likely to become a "case of Nissan" and a "case of Japanese justice", is entering the next round.
"Many people call the hostage justice"
Junichiro Hironaka, Ghosn's new lawyer, has delivered what his reputation as a star lawyer promised. At least so far. A week ago, Hironaka submitted Ghosn's third petition for bail. The first two had been smashed. This is normal in Japan. As long as an arrested person asserts his innocence, the prosecutor's office extends the detention, which is actually limited to three weeks without charge, by any means, such as a re-arrest for a modified offense, as happened with Ghosn. However, if the accused admits, even if it is a false confession, then it shows conciliatory. "Many people call this hostage justice," says Hironaka. "When I was a young lawyer, there were not so many prison terms."
Ghosn's release on bail is therefore considered a surprise that Hironaka previously considered possible in conversation with journalists. He is convinced of Ghosn's innocence. The former manager was charged with serious breach of trust, false registration of his compensation and embezzlement. "I think you can convince Japanese judges," says Hironaka.
One of the conditions imposed by the Ghosn court is that he has to stay in Japan and a surveillance camera is installed on his doorstep. He is not allowed to contact anyone from Nissan management, he has very limited use of a mobile phone and only has a computer at his lawyer's office on weekdays.
Hironaka, whom Ghosn hired only two and a half weeks ago, is one of the few Japanese defense lawyers to achieve regular success in court. In Japan, 99.8 percent of all criminal cases end with a conviction; There are competent defenders who never win a lawsuit.
The 73-year-old, however, has already won several prominent cases. Several times for people who were accused of obscure financial crimes, especially when they threatened to become dangerous to the powerful of Japan's politics, administration or economy. For example, Ichiro Ozawa, the erstwhile king-maker of Japanese politics, was charged with financial irregularities in 2009 when he shook the power monopoly of Liberal Democrat Party (LDP) leader Shinzo Abe and had the best chance of becoming head of government. "I have always represented people who oppose the establishment," says Hironaka.
"This case has great historical and social significance for Japan"
"These were often pioneers of change." Four months after the Ozawa indictment, the LDP lost the election – without Ozawa being able to form the government. He had to give up his position as a top candidate for criminal proceedings. "I think we are experiencing such a change now," said Hironaka on Monday. "This case has great historical and social significance for Japan." The future of this society depends on him. "In the future, managers from other countries will no longer want to work in Japan," he quoted newspaper articles. "But I hope we can regain the trust of Mr. Ghosn and the international community as soon as possible."
Hironaka finds it "bizarre" as Nissan "suddenly pulled events that go back ten years to light and turned on the new leniency program claiming the prosecutor's office instead of talking to Ghosn first, with more people in Nissan management in Hironaka says, "I think that has something to do with the situation between Renault and Nissan." He may not confirm that sometimes a "higher will" could affect Japan's courts, but he does not say so. "When it comes to something as important as the auto industry, you have to think about that." Ghosn himself recently accused the Nissan leadership of having coined it to cut off its merger plans.