Carlos Ghosn's lead defence lawyer resigns

Former Nissan Chairman Carlos Ghosn's top defense lawyer, Motonari Otsuru, has resigned as the saga enters its third month.
Mr Motonari Otsuru, the chief lawyer for former Nissan chairman Carlos Ghosn, at a press conference at the Foreign Correspondents' Club of Japan on Jan 8, 2019.
Mr Motonari Otsuru, the chief lawyer for former Nissan chairman Carlos Ghosn, at a press conference at the Foreign Correspondents' Club of Japan on Jan 8, 2019.PHOTO: AFP

TOKYO (BLOOMBERG) - Carlos Ghosn’s Japanese lawyers, hired after the former Nissan Motor chairman was sent to jail in November, have asked to be removed from the case, potentially hurting his defence against the financial misconduct allegations that have shocked the global car industry.

Ghosn has selected Mr Junichiro Hironaka as his new lawyer, the Sankei reported, citing unidentified people.

The previous lawyers, including Mr Motonari Otsuru, have notified the court that they will no longer represent him as legal counsel, according to an e-mailed statement on Wednesday (Feb 13). The crew led the defence of Ghosn, who has been jailed in Tokyo since his Nov 19 arrest and is awaiting a trial.

Ghosn, indicted for alleged misconduct including understating his income at Nissan by tens of millions of dollars, has denied wrongdoing. Prosecutors say the alleged crimes could carry a jail term of up to 10 years.