TOKYO – A new bail application for Carlos Ghosn includes an offer for him to be monitored by surveillance cameras to ensure he does not flee Japan or tamper with evidence, his lawyer said.
Ghosn, who has been detained by prosecutors since Nov. 19, is determined to win bail after having two earlier applications turned down, Junichiro Hironaka said at a news conference on Monday. Ghosn replaced his previous lawyer with Hironaka, who is known for winning several high-profile defense cases in Japan, after he was denied bail for a second time in late January.
Hironaka said Ghosn was willing to face the inconvenience of being monitored to earn his release. He did not specify where the cameras would be placed or who would monitor him. The new application was submitted last Thursday. A ruling is likely this week.
Ghosn earlier offered to wear an ankle monitor to limit his movements, but prosecutors said the proposal was irrelevant because Japan does not use such devices.
“We have presented our own convincing application showing there is no flight risk or risk of tampering with evidence,” Hironaka said.
Ghosn’s case has highlighted long detention periods in Japan, where prosecutors have greater leeway to hold and question suspects than their counterparts in many Western countries.
Prosecutors have charged Ghosn with failing to report more than $80 million in deferred compensation on eight years of Nissan Motor Co.’s financial reports and with causing Nissan to pay a Saudi businessman who helped Ghosn with a personal financial problem. Ghosn was stripped of his title as chairman of Nissan in November.
Ghosn says he is innocent of the charges. In a January court hearing, he called discussions about the compensation “hypothetical” and not subject to reporting rules, and he said the Saudi businessman’s company “was appropriately compensated” for “critical services that substantially benefited Nissan.”
Hironaka, who is known as “the razor” for his string of past legal victories, said he was confident of winning bail for his client.
“I’m now 73 years old, but I want to test how sharp the razor still is,” he said.