Carlos Ghosn’s lawyers have asked the Tokyo District Court to drop all charges against the former Nissan Motor chairman, stating prosecutors colluded with government officials and Nissan executives to remove him from his post.
Ghosn’s legal team in a press release stated they had filed two court filings ahead of a planned pre-trial meeting the same day that list cases of “misconduct” by prosecutors and “factual defences” which show Ghosn is innocent of financial misconduct.
“The prosecution against him resulted from illegal collusion between the prosecutors, government officials at METI (Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry), and executives at Nissan, who formed a secret task force to drum up accusations of misconduct,” the lawyers stated in the release.
Since his first arrest in November, Ghosn has been charged four times on accusations that he underreported his Nissan salary, temporarily transferred personal financial losses to Nissan’s books and authorized payments to auto dealers with the purpose of enriching himself.
Currently on bail in Japan, Ghosn is not permitted to contact speak with his wife or use the internet unsupervised. Japanese courts have rejected several appeals by Ghosn to ease those restrictions that his lawyers have argued breaches Japan’s constitution and international law on family separation.
In September, Ghosn and Nissan agreed to settle claims from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commision concerning misleading financial disclosures associated with Ghosn’s compensation. Nissan agreed to pay $15 million, while Ghosn accepted a $1 million civil penalty and a 10-year ban from serving as an officer or director of a publicly traded U.S. company.
Courts in Japan have yet to decide a schedule for his prosecution to begin, with local media stating that his first trial may start in March. Ghosn’s defence team of 13 lawyers consists of four lawyers in Japan who will defend him in the upcoming trials.