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UN experts tell Japan treatment of ex-Nissan boss ‘fundamentally unfair’

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A United Nations panel of human rights experts has published an opinion on Monday, saying that former Renault-Nissan boss Carlos Ghosn was wrongly detained in Japan.

Ghosn was arrested in Japan in 2018 on financial misconduct charges. He is accused for underreporting his income for years. He has denied the charges, and insists he was framed by former Nissan colleagues and Japanese government officials.

His dramatic escape involved him taking a bullet train before a private jet flew him to Turkey and then he reportedly entered Lebanon on a private plane, using one of the passports the court allowed him to keep in a locked case, as it was necessary for him to possess a passport when he was released on bail.

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The Working Group on Arbitrary Detention has found that Ghosn’s arrest in Japan was “arbitrary” and urged “compensation” for him from the Japanese government, which denounced the report as a “totally unacceptable” viewpoint that will change nothing in the country’s legal process.

“The Working Group considers that, taking into account all the circumstances of the case, the appropriate remedy would be to accord Mr Ghosn an enforceable right to compensation and other reparations, in accordance with international law”, the opinion said.

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Ghosn has repeatedly said he would have not received a fair trial in Japan. His lawyer, Jessica Finelle, welcomed the “brave” decision by the panel and said its members had been “hard on the Japanese legal system”.

“He is somehow is getting back his dignity because he’s been humiliated during this time that he was held in Japan,” she said.

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