Ex-Nissan chief Ghosn case shines harsh light on Japan’s “hostage justice”

The high-profile case of ex-Nissan chairman Carlos Ghosn has shone a light in Japan on what critics call “hostage justice”, in which suspects can be held for months after arrest, but any reforms will likely be incremental and slow.

Ghosn, a former titan of the global auto industry, who has French, Brazilian and Lebanese citizenship, was released on bail of 1 billion yen ($9 million) on Wednesday after being held for more than 100 days following his November 19 arrest by prosecutors on suspicion of under-reporting his compensation.

In a scenario common in Japan’s justice system, Ghosn was arrested two more times on fresh suspicions, including aggravated breach of trust, each time allowing prosecutors to keep him in custody and interrogate him without his lawyers being present.

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