Carlos Ghosn set to appear in court -- but what happens next?
Japan Times -- Jan 08
The case of ousted Nissan chief Carlos Ghosn has gripped Japan and the business world since his stunning arrest in November, and now he is finally getting his day in court.

Ghosn will be able to make his first public statement at a brief hearing Tuesday, after his lawyers used an obscure article of Japan’s Constitution to demand an explanation for his detention.

What will happen in court?

The hearing is “a dialogue between the lawyer and the judge, and the prosecutor is not required to be present,” said Yasuyuki Takai, a former investigator at the unit that arrested Ghosn.

The judge is likely to give a brief explanation for Ghosn’s detention, and the Constitution mandates that the accused be permitted to speak as well.

However there is no allotted time for his comments, and the judge could require Ghosn to read a prepared statement rather than give off-the-cuff remarks.

In theory he is free to say what he wants until the judge tells him to stop, said Takai. “He can wear what he wants, but he’ll be handcuffed until the entrance of the courtroom,” he added.

He will not, however, be permitted to speak to reporters, the general public or family members in court.

Prosecutors are investigating three separate lines of enquiry:

He is accused of underreporting his salary by around ¥5 billion ($44 million) between 2010 and 2015 in official documents sent to shareholders.

He is accused also of underreporting his salary by a further ¥4 billion between 2015 and 2018.

He is further accused of trying to transfer ¥1.85 billion in personal investment losses during the financial crisis to Nissan. He is also accused of wiring company funds to a Saudi associate who put up collateral for him in the investment scheme.

Authorities have so far only pressed formal charges over the first accusation.

Ghosn reportedly denies all the allegations.

News source: Japan Times
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