Carlos Ghosn’s new lawyer struck an optimistic note today, saying that the ousted former Nissan boss could soon win bail from custody in Japan following two previous failed requests.
Junichiro Hironaka, dubbed “the Razor” due to his mental sharpness, told a news conference: “I believe it’s possible he could be released in the near future,” Reuters reported.
Ghosn’s new legal team, assembled after previous lawyer Motonari Otsuru resigned with no explanation last month, filed a third bail request with a Tokyo court at the end of February.
Otsuru had been pessimistic about the prospect of bail being granted, but his successor is more positive, vowing to follow a different strategy.
Hironaka is well known in Japan for successfully defending clients accused of high-profile white-collar crime, such as the "Shadow Shogun" Ichiro Ozawa, a politician who was accused of breaking fundraising laws.
Ghosn was arrested by Japanese police in November 2018 and accused by the country’s prosecutors of significant misconduct, including under-reporting his salary.
The car industry titan has since had his detention extended numerous times, and two previous bail requests have been rejected. He denies any wrongdoing.
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 conceal evidence.
Later that month Ghosn’s wife, Carol, decried her husband’s treatment, writing to Human Rights Watch to claim that officials “interrogate him, browbeat him, lecture him and berate him” daily.
Also in January, Ghosn was charged with aggravated breach of trust and under-reporting his income. Nissan was also indicted on the latter charge.