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Bailed ex-Nissan boss Ghosn recuperating after 108-day 'hostage justice' ordeal in Tokyo, says lawyer

Kyodo, Staff Report

Former Nissan Motor Co. Chairman Carlos Ghosn is currently recuperating after his release on bail Wednesday, following more than 100 days in custody, his lawyer said, noting that no date for a news conference has been set at this time.

“His health condition has not fully recovered. I will talk with other lawyers and carefully consider (the schedule for a news conference),” lawyer Junichiro Hironaka told reporters. He ruled out the possibility of Ghosn meeting with the press on Thursday.

The 64-year-old has not spoken in public since his release on ¥1 billion ($9 million) bail from the Tokyo Detention House, where he had been held since his arrest on Nov. 19. He has denied the charges he is facing regarding financial misconduct.

Ghosn was granted bail Tuesday by the Tokyo District Court following the third bail request, and the first from his revamped defense team. To address concerns of evidence tampering, the team proposed the installation of surveillance cameras at the entrance of Ghosn’s residence and restricting his computer use to weekdays during the daytime when he visits his lawyer’s office, with internet access forbidden.

The treatment of the once-celebrated auto executive following his arrest has brought Japan’s criminal justice system under international scrutiny, including a tendency to hold suspects for long periods when they deny allegations against them — which critics have likened to “hostage taking.”

“I’m glad that the bail was granted. I hope this case will become the start of ending the ‘hostage justice’ system,” Hironaka said.

In 2016, district courts in Japan granted pre-trial bail to defendants in 8.9 percent of cases where they denied the charges against them. Prosecutors in Japan have a conviction rate of 97.3 percent for defendants who have pleaded not guilty, compared with 85 percent in the U.S., according to Japan’s Ministry of Justice.