Tokyo, Oct. 28 (Jiji Press)–A former Nissan Motor Co. <7201> official on Wednesday flatly denied an intention to carry water for public prosecutors in striking a plea deal over alleged financial misconduct by former Nissan Chairman Carlos Ghosn.
Appearing as a witness at Tokyo District Court in a trial for those including former Nissan board director Greg Kelly over Ghosn’s suspected cover-up of part of his pay, the former head of Nissan’s secretary office explained how the plea bargaining deal was reached with prosecutors. Kelly, 64, was a close aide to Ghosn, 66.
Oct. 9, 2018, Nissan executives, including then Executive Vice President Hitoshi Kawaguchi, asked the former secretary office head to cooperate in the prosecutors’ investigation into Ghosn’s wrongdoing, saying that Ghosn was misappropriating Nissan assets in Lebanon and Brazil, according to the testimony.
The former secretary office chief decided to speak about the matter to the prosecutors, feeling guilty about being involved in the misappropriation.
During questioning by the Tokyo District Public Prosecutors Office’s special investigation squad, the former secretary office head was surprised to learn that the prosecutors were aware of the former office chief’s involvement in Ghosn’s scheme of covering up his pay.
“Although I hesitated somewhat, I told prosecutors about what I know in a matter-of-fact way because it’s true that I was involved (in the matter),” the former secretary office head said in the court testimony.
The former secretary office head denied any intention to cater to the prosecutors, after being told by a lawyer to tell the truth in the questioning by the prosecutors, according to the testimony.
On Oct. 26, 2018, the former secretary office head asked the prosecution side for talks on plea bargaining. The deal was reached on Nov. 1 that year.
Ghosn fled Japan to Lebanon late last year while on bail awaiting a trial over his alleged financial misconduct