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Lawyer seeks open hearing on reason for renewed detention of ex-Nissan Chairman Ghosn

Carlos Ghosn (Mainichi/Noriko Tokuno)

TOKYO -- A lawyer for former Nissan Motor Co. Chairman Carlos Ghosn has said that he asked the Tokyo District Court on Jan. 4 to hold an open hearing to disclose the reason for the elite businessman's detention on a charge of aggravated breach of trust, because a new piece of evidence in favor of the suspect has been found.

Ghosn faces a number of charges, including the breach of trust allegation linked to his transfer of personal investment losses to the major automaker in violation of the Companies Act. Regarding this charge, the lawyer revealed that the minutes of a board meeting that were found late last year said the transfer caused "no cost for the company."

"This has made it clearer that no crime took place, and that's why I filed the request," the lawyer said. The lawyer added that Ghosn approved the hearing request. "He wants to explain in court that he did not cause damage to the company and had no intention of doing so."

During a Jan. 8 hearing set by Judge Yuichi Tada of the district court, Ghosn, 64, is expected to make his first public appearance since his arrest in November last year on suspicion of underreporting his remuneration in violation of the Financial Instruments and Exchange Act, and argue that he is innocent. The former Nissan chairman, who has been indicted in connection with the underreporting charges, is also poised to ask the district court to cancel his detention.

The court hearing for the disclosure of the cause of detention is provided for by the Code of Criminal Procedure based on Article 34 of the Constitution that says cause for detention "must be immediately shown in open court" in the presence of a suspect and their counsel "upon demand of any person."

Meanwhile, Ghosn's close aide and another defendant in the underreporting case, Greg Kelly, 62, remains in hospital in Ibaraki Prefecture north of Tokyo following his release on bail on Dec. 25. He is scheduled to receive an operation for neck pain.

(Japanese original by Kenji Tatsumi, Kazuhiro Toyama and Kim Suyeong, City News Department)

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