The businessman should have been kept in jail, prosecutors claim, because he had ‘financial power and foreign bases’
Carlos Ghosnshould have been kept in jail Because his network of connections made it “easy for him to flee” house arrest, prosecutors in Japan have said.
In their first comments since the former Nissan chief’s audacious escape from Japan to (Lebanon) , the prosecutors said his flight had vindicated their widely criticized decision to keep Ghosn in custody for much of the time after his arrest in on charges of financial irregularities.
“The defendant Ghosn had abundant financial power and multiple foreign bases. It was easy for him to flee, ”the statement said.
He had “significant influence” inside (Japan) and globally, and there was a “realistic danger” he would destroy evidence related to the case, they added.
The Ghosn case put the international spotlight on Japan’s justice system, which came under heavy fire for authorities ’ability to hold suspects almost indefinitely pending trial.
Ghosn twice won bail by persuading the court he was not a flight risk – decisions seen as controversial at the time.
Prosecutors argued that the lengthy detention was required to prove guilt beyond doubt and they were unwilling to charge a suspect if their case was not iron-clad.
The court was fair, prosecutors said on Sunday, and would only find people guilty beyond reasonable doubt.
“Therefore it was necessary and unavoidable to detain the defendant Ghosn in order to continue fair and appropriate criminal proceedings,” they said.
Ghosn’s actions were tantamount to ignoring Japan’s legal system, they said, which was a crime.
In separate comments, the justice minister Masako Mori on Sunday promised a thorough investigation to uncover the truth behind Ghosn’s “apparently illegal” departure, adding that there was no record of his leaving Japan.
“Our country’s criminal justice system sets out appropriate procedures to clarify the truth of cases and is administered appropriately, while guaranteeing basic individual human rights. The flight by a defendant on bail is unjustifiable, ”said Mori.
“It is clear that we do not have records of the defendant Ghosn departing Japan. It is believed that he used some wrongful methods to illegally leave the country. It is extremely regrettable that we have come to this situation. ”
She also said that Ghosn’s decision to skip the country could not be justified and that the court has revoked his $ 4.5m bail.
Ghosn became an international fugitive after he revealed on Tuesday he had fled to Lebanonto escape what he called a “rigged” justice system in Japan, where he faces charges relating to alleged financial crimes. Ghosn denies any wrongdoing.
With speculation continuing about how Ghosn managed to leave Japan where he was under house arrest, it was expected that he will give a media conference this week. The private jet firm whose aircraft was used to fly him from Osaka to Istanbul and then to Beirutsaid it had been dupedinto arranging the flights.