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Japanese gov't, prosecutors condemn Ghosn's remarks in Lebanon

The Japanese government and prosecutors on Thursday condemned ousted Nissan Motor Co boss Carlos Ghosn's "one-sided" claims about his escape from Japan at a press conference in Lebanon, saying they "failed to justify his acts."
Speaking to reporters early Thursday in Tokyo, Justice Minister Masako Mori said his illegal departure from Japan "could never be forgiven under the system of any country," and that the government "can never overlook (his attempt to) propagate erroneous facts about the legal system and its management of our country in a bid to justify his acts."
Mori said she wants Ghosn to openly and squarely seek judgment by a court under "our country's fair criminal justice system" if he hopes to fight the allegations against him.
It is rare for a justice minister to publicly speak about individual cases.
Tokyo prosecutors also hit back at the former Nissan chairman, saying his allegations "completely ignore his own conduct," and that "his one-sided criticism of the Japanese criminal justice system is totally unacceptable."
Takahiro Saito, deputy chief of the Tokyo District Public Prosecutors Office, dismissed Ghosn's claim that his prosecution was an act of conspiracy between prosecutors and Nissan as being "categorically false."
"Our office has developed our factual and legal arguments and disclosed the supporting evidence to Ghosn's defense counsel in order to guarantee a fair and public trial," Saito said in a statement, which was issued in both Japanese and English.
"However, by fleeing from Japan, defendant Ghosn flagrantly disregarded Japanese law to avoid the consequences of the crimes he committed."
At the press conference, Ghosn, who was due to stand trial in Japan for alleged financial misconduct, dismissed all allegations against him as being untrue.
The event, which lasted about two and a half hours, marked his first public appearance since his bold escape from Japan last week to Lebanon via Turkey.


© KYODO
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