The wife of the former Nissan chairman Carlos Ghosn has urged human rights campaigners to highlight Japanese prosecutors’ “draconian” treatment of her husband during his prolonged detention on charges of financial misconduct.
In a nine-page letter to the Japan office of Human Rights Watch, Carole Ghosn alleged that prosecutors have subjected her husband to hours of daily interrogation in order to extract a confession.
The letter also claims that Ghosn, who was briefly taken ill with a fever last week, is being held in an unheated cell that is lit even at night and is being denied his daily medication.
Ghosn, who has been in detention since his arrest on 19 November, faces two charges of under-reporting his salary by tens of millions of dollars, apparently to avoid criticism from Nissan employees that he was paid too much. A third charge alleges that he transferred personal investment losses to Nissan and used company funds to make payments to a Saudi business associate.
In his first appearance since his arrest, Ghosn last week proclaimed his innocence during a special court session, claiming that he had been “wrongly accused” and “unfairly detained”.
His lengthy detention has sparked international criticism of Japan’s “hostage justice” system, which permits prosecutors to re-arrest suspects over separate allegations and keep them in detention for long periods with the aim of extracting a confession.
More than 99% of criminal cases in Japan end in a conviction, with most secured through confessions.
“In Japan, suspects are routinely and repeatedly interrogated by prosecutors outside the presence of their lawyers; have no possibility for bail until after they have been indicted; have limited access to counsel; and are forced to sit and listen to interrogations even when they choose to exercise their right to remain silent,” Carole Ghosn said in her letter.
“My husband’s treatment is a case study in the realities of this draconian system. For hours each day, the prosecutors interrogate him, browbeat him, lecture him and berate him, outside the presence of his attorneys, in an effort to extract a confession.”
Ghosn’s head lawyer, Motonari Otsuru, last week denied that his client was being pressured to sign a confession, adding that he had not complained to his legal team about conditions at the Tokyo detention centre. Otsuru said Ghosn, who was initially kept in a tiny cell with a futon, had been moved to a bigger cell with a bed.
Ghosn has so far been denied visits from his family during his detention, with only his lawyers and embassy officials granted permission to meet him.
He is being held in a 7 sq m (75 sq feet), unheated cell, according to Carole Ghosn, eats mainly rice and barley-based meals and has lost 7 kg (15 lb) over the past two weeks. He is allowed to exercise for 30 minutes and to take two or three baths a week, she added.
Ghosn’s lawyers have conceded that he is likely to remain in detention until his trial begins, mainly because he maintains his innocence and is considered a flight risk. No trial date has been set, and it could be at least six months before his case comes to court.
سایت تابناک از انتشار نظرات حاوی توهین و افترا و نوشته شده با حروف لاتین (فینگیلیش) معذور است.