All national papers reported on the start of former Nissan executive Greg Kelly’s trial at the Tokyo District Court on Tuesday, saying that the defendant pleaded not guilty to the charge of collaborating with Nissan in underreporting the annual income of Carlos Ghosn by a total of 9.1 billion yen ($89 million) from 2011 through 2018. The American businessman reportedly described Ghosn as a “superb corporate manager,” insisting that since Nissan had not been able to find anyone to succeed him, the automaker’s arrangement to defer some of his salary was a “legitimate scheme” to retain him. According to the articles, however, the defense counsel of Nissan admitted to the charge by saying the scheme was intended to ensure the personal interests of Ghosn and that corporate governance was completely lost at the time because Kelly and his associates had control of the company’s decision-making authority. At least 70 hearings on the case will reportedly be held through next summer.
In a related story, Asahi projected that a former U.S. Green Beret and his son, who have been accused of abetting the cross-border escape of Ghosn, will likely be extradited to Japan in November at the earliest.