In the trial which started on Monday in Lebanon in a case filed by former Nissan Motor Co. Chairman Carlos Ghosn, neither Nissan nor its accused executives chose to appear or to be represented at the hearing.
Ghosn has sued the Japanese automaker and others for over 1 billion dollars in damages.
In May, Ghosn, who is now in Lebanon, filed the lawsuit in the Middle Eastern country against three companies, including Nissan, and multiple Nissan officials on defamation and evidence tampering allegations, according to Reuters.
In an online press conference in July, Ghosn said he launched the suit to restore his reputation, not to retaliate.
Ghosn was arrested in Japan in November 2018 on suspicion of not recording part of his executive compensation in Nissan’s financial statements in violation of the financial instruments and exchange law. He additionally faced special breach-of-trust charges under the companies law later for his alleged misappropriation of Nissan funds. He fled to Lebanon in December 2019 while on bail awaiting trial.
Following is a statement from Carlos Ghosn’s defense team.
“Following Carlos Ghosn’s criminal complaint brought before the Beirut General Public Prosecutor’s Office on May 18, 2023, against notably Nissan and 12 individuals for, among other offences, collusion to commit a crime in organized groups, fabrication of evidence, false testimony, violation of domicile, theft and concealment of documents, violation of the secrecy of the investigation, defamation and character assassination, the Central Bureau of the Judicial Police began hearings on Monday September 18, 2023.
After publicly denying to its shareholders and the media all knowledge of the substance of the said criminal complaint, neither Nissan nor its accused executives have chosen to appear or to be represented at this hearing, even though the notifications to attend the hearing were duly served upon them over two months ago.
Their choice not only demonstrates their contempt for a justice system that does not recognize immunity agreements, by contrast to the Japanese justice system, but also their determination to conceal the truth about their criminal actions.
Carlos Ghosn’s defense team deplores this decision, which is against the interests of Nissan’s shareholders and employees, who, along with Mr. Ghosn and the public opinion, have a right to the truth about the manoeuvers that led to his arrest at the end of 2018 and fueled the charges against him.”