NEW YORK - Ousted Nissan Motor Co. Chairman Carlos Ghosn is enduring a “bizarre inquisition” in Japan, a Wall Street Journal editorial said Tuesday.
He has been “held in detention for days without being charged, interrogated by prosecutors without a lawyer present, and fired from his post amid media leaks claiming he’s guilty of financial malfeasance,” the U.S. business daily wrote.
“Communist China? No, capitalist Japan, where … Ghosn is enduring a bizarre inquisition,” said the editorial printed in the paper’s Tuesday edition and headlined “The Ghosn Inquisition.”
Japan’s judicial system allows detention of suspects for up to 23 days without charges being filed.
“Such treatment is more appropriate for a yakuza mobster than an international CEO with no previous record of fraud or self-dealing,” the editorial said.
The allegations that he underreported his pay in Nissan securities reports are “odd in that Nissan should long have been aware” of the practice, the article noted.
It indicated that behind the arrest was friction between Nissan and its top shareholder and alliance partner, Renault SA.
“You don’t have to be a conspiracy theorist to look at these events and wonder if they are part of a larger effort to end Mr. Ghosn’s plan to merge Nissan with Renault,” said the editorial.
It added that without more transparency in investigations, “the Nissan ambush will stand as a black mark on Japanese business.”