Ghosn's new lawyer takes aim at Nissan and prosecutors
Japan Today -- Feb 21
Carlos Ghosn's new lawyer took aim at Nissan, prosecutors and courts on Wednesday, dismissing the charges against the ousted chairman as an internal company matter and saying Japan was out of step with international norms by keeping his client in jail.

"This should have been dealt with as an internal matter," Junichiro Hironaka, nicknamed the Razor, said at his first press briefing.

Ghosn, who was arrested in November over alleged financial misconduct and remains in detention in a Tokyo jail, picked a new team last week with long-time defense attorney Hironaka as a key member to replace Motonari Otsuru, a lawyer who once ran the prosecutor's office investigating him.

Hironaka's combative style contrasts with the low-key approach adopted by a media-shy Otsuru.

Ghosn's switch to an aggressive legal strategy came after his attempts to win bail failed and just before lawyers were due to sit down with prosecutors and judges for the first time to hash out a schedule for pre-trial discovery meetings, where prosecutors will reveal evidence and submit a list of witnesses.

Hironaka said he didn't know why Ghosn picked him, but added that Ghosn probably wanted an experienced criminal lawyer as the case moved toward trial.

The 73-year-old defense attorney is reputed for winning high profile cases, including the acquittal of a senior lawmaker, Ichiro Ozawa, on financial misconduct charges. He also helped free a senior bureaucrat Atsuko Muraki who was jailed for four months on corruption charges fabricated by prosecutors.

News source: Japan Today
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