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Tired Ghosn recovering, as lawyer works on defense

Former Nissan chief Carlos Ghosn's top lawyer vowed Thursday to mount a "thorough" defense to restore his client's reputation, as the businessman spent his first day out of a Tokyo detention centre recovering.
"Of course he is tired," Junichiro Hironaka told reporters camped outside his office. "He was taken into custody unexpectedly at the airport, put in that place for more than 100 days. Wouldn't he be tired after all that?"
Hironaka kept tight-lipped on details about Ghosn, who was freed Wednesday afternoon after his shock arrest on Nov 19 when Japanese prosecutors stormed into his corporate jet. He was later slapped with multiple charges of financial misconduct.
In keeping with conditions for his one billion yen bail, Ghosn has promised to live at a residence with surveillance cameras, to stay in Japan, and to use only designated computers with no internet access.
Ghosn's bail should help the lawyers prepare better for his trial, Hironaka said.
Japan's judicial tradition allows authorities to keep suspects in custody for a long time to encourage confessions.
"I think it's good that the court granted bail even with various conditions attached. It's unfair to detain the accused over a long period of time before trial in this so-called 'hostage justice system,'" Hironaka said.
"I hope 'hostage justice' will be a thing of the past. From now on, I hope we'll be able to conduct more elaborate, more thorough preparations" for the trial, he said.
Hironaka said he did not know why Ghosn decided to leave the detention center dressed a bit like a construction worker, donning a blue cap and a work jacket with yellow reflective stripes.
"I was surprised when I saw him on TV," said Hironaka, who said he had not met Ghosn in person since the release.
The outfit can be seen as "humorous" but Ghosn could have left in more traditional garb, Hironaka added. He said he understood it was a plan concocted by the tycoon and bail lawyers.
The lawyer added that Ghosn's defense team was considering an opportunity for him to speak with the press in the near future. But the event must be designed in such a way that it would not affect the trial and not allow prosecutors to argue that Ghosn was using the media to send hidden messages to his associates to conceal evidence.
"We are criminal-trial lawyers. We only think about how we can win a not-guilty verdict," he said.


© 2019 AFP
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