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Ghosn's Japanese Lawyers Quit Following His Escape to Lebanon

Ghosn's Japanese Lawyers Quit Following His Escape to Lebanon

Thursday, 16 January, 2020 - 06:45
Junichiro Hironaka has quit as tycoon Carlos Ghosn's lawyer. AFP
Asharq Al-Awsat

Japanese attorneys representing former Nissan chief Carlos Ghosn quit on Thursday following his flight to Lebanon from Japan, where he had been fighting financial misconduct charges.

Office of lead lawyer Junichiro Hironaka issued a brief statement saying they had "filed with the Tokyo District Court letters of resignation for all lawyers... connected with all cases related to Ghosn."

Hironaka said he has felt some empathy for Ghosn's reasons for escape, while stressing he had hoped to win vindication in court.

A second lawyer in Ghosn’s three-person legal team, Takashi Takano, also quit on Thursday, according to an official at his office.

A person who answered the phone at the office of the third lawyer, Hiroshi Kawatsu, said she didn’t know if he still represented the former automotive executive, Reuters reported.

Ghosn spent 130 days in detention and faced multiple financial misconduct charges in Japan. However, he has denied all the charges and claimed he was a victim of a plot by Nissan and Japanese officials.

In a news conference last week in Beirut, Ghosn said he fled because he felt he could not expect a fair trial in Japan.

According to AFP, he is believed to have left Japan by hiding in a large case for audio equipment on a private jet, aided by a team of operatives.

Interpol has issued a wanted notice but his extradition from Lebanon is unlikely.

Meanwhile, legal cases are continuing against Nissan and Ghosn's right-hand man Greg Kelly, who faces related financial misconduct charges.

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