By YURI KAGEYAMA, AP Enterprise Author
TOKYO (AP) — The protection for former Nissan government Greg Kelly stated Wednesday there was no proof or motives linking him to alleged under-reporting of his ex-boss Carlos Ghosn’s compensation.
Kelly’s chief protection lawyer, Yoichi Kitamura, stated in wrapping up the protection’s arguments that Kelly is harmless and he had no information of the complicated calculations over Ghosn’s unpaid remuneration, tabulated and up to date by Nissan Motor Co. secretariat official Toshiaki Ohnuma.
Kitamura informed the Tokyo District Courtroom prosecutors had offered no proof of exchanges about Ghosn’s compensation between Kelly and Ohnuma.
“Kelly was not concerned in any respect,” Kitamura stated.
Kelly, who sat quietly with the protection attorneys carrying his typical crimson tie and darkish swimsuit, pleaded harmless on the opening of the trial a 12 months in the past.
Kitamura additionally burdened Kelly had been simply looking for authorized methods to pay Ghosn after Ghosn’s retirement.
“Greg Kelly is a lawyer. Even when he had needed to forestall Carlos Ghosn from leaving, would he have dedicated against the law?” stated Kitamura, who is known in Japan for profitable acquittals in a nation with a conviction price greater than 99%.
“There isn’t a motive in any respect for Kelly to hold out such an unlawful act.”
Kelly, an American, was in semi-retirement within the U.S. when Nissan lured him again to Japan, on the pretext of attending a gathering. He was arrested in November 2018, concurrently Ghosn. However Ghosn jumped bail and fled to Lebanon in late 2019. Lebanon doesn’t have an extradition treaty with Japan.
On the middle of the case is a 1 billion yen ($9 million) a 12 months pay reduce Ghosn voluntarily took, beginning in 2009, when disclosure of huge government salaries turned legally required in Japan. Ghosn was apprehensive a few public backlash as hefty government pay packages aren’t widespread in Japan.
Prosecutors say that cash, totaling about 9 billion yen ($80 million) ought to have been reported as compensation though it was by no means paid or stipulated in a proper contract.
In wrapping up their arguments final month, prosecutors demanded two years in jail for Kelly. A verdict isn’t anticipated till March.
Critics of Japan’s judicial system have blasted the circumstances in opposition to Ghosn and Kelly as “hostage justice.”
Ghosn informed The Related Press in a latest interview he believes there was a conspiracy, concocted by officers at Nissan who feared better management by French alliance companion Renault.
“Greg is paying the worth of his honesty and his being simple,” Ghosn stated of Kelly. “He’s the one one who isn’t mendacity within the course of.”
In an indication that Kelly is gaining help again house, Rahm Emanuel, former Chicago mayor, President Joe Biden’s nominee for ambassador to Japan, informed a Senate committee affirmation listening to final week that wanting into Kelly’s case was “a high precedence.”
“The No. 1 duty of an embassy and an envoy is to ensure the security, and make sure the security, of a U.S. citizen on international soil,” he stated in response to a query from Republic Sen. Invoice Hagerty of Tennessee, the state the place Kelly lived earlier than his arrest.
“You may have my phrase,” Emanuel stated.
Hagerty, ambassador to Japan till mid-2019, stated Kelly’s human rights had been violated, and his identify must be cleared.
Nissan, the automaker behind the Leaf electrical automobile and Infiniti luxurious fashions, didn’t struggle fees in the identical trial as a company entity.
Individually, two People extradited from the U.S. on fees of serving to Ghosn escape Japan had been convicted in July. Michael Taylor was sentenced to 2 years in jail. His son Peter Taylor was sentenced to a 12 months and eight months.
Yuri Kageyama is on Twitter https://twitter.com/yurikageyama
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