Ghosn Lawyer Says He's Optimistic Former Nissan Head Could Soon Win Bail

Ghosn lawyer says pursuing 'different strategy'

Ghosn lawyer says pursuing 'different strategy'

The 64-year-old auto executive has been held in the Tokyo Detention House since November 19 over financial misconduct allegations.

The Tokyo District Court is due to hand down its verdict at any moment on the most recent bail application.

Ghosn, who has been held in custody at a detention center in Tokyo for over three months, hired Hironaka as his chief defense lawyer last month in an overhaul of his legal team as he fights financial misconduct charges in Japan.

"We have put in a request that we believe is convincing", Hironaka told reporters at the Foreign Correspondents' Club of Japan in Tokyo.

But so far, it has shown little inclination to end Mr Ghosn's lengthy pre-trial detention, which has drawn some criticism internationally and from rights groups.

Prosecutors allege that Ghosn falsified financial reports by allegedly under-reporting his compensation by about 5 billion yen ($45 million).

Suspects in Japan often are detained for months, especially those who insist on their innocence, like Ghosn. The breach of trust allegations centre on a temporary transfer of Ghosn's investment losses to Nissan's books that he says caused no losses to the automaker. The charge also points to payments to a Saudi businessman that he says were for legitimate services.

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At a hearing in January a Japanese judge said it was necessary for Ghosn to stay behind bars to ensure he does not flee the country or attempt to hide evidence. Ghosn has offered to wear an electronic tether and hire security guards, but such methods are not used in Japan for bail.

Hironaka has won some high profile cases, including the 2012 acquittal of influential lawmaker Ichiro Ozawa, who was charged with alleged false reporting by his political funds body.

"This is important for history and for society", he said.

Criticizing the length of the detention and the conditions of the detention, lawyer Jessica Finelle said "we consider that his detention, these conditions aim at forcing him to make coerced confessions".

The statement from Caroline, Nadine, Maya and Anthony Ghosn, seen Monday by The Associated Press, says they grew up in Japan and Ghosn's contribution to Japan was well-known.

The comments were in response to an interview with Nissan Chief Executive Hiroto Saikawa in the current issue of a Japanese weekly magazine, Shukan Bunshun, although the family's statement does not mention Saikawa by name.

Nissan Motor Co. declined comment on the criminal case but said an internal investigation had found unethical conduct.

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