June 19, 2019
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Carlos Ghosn attends first preliminary hearing in Tokyo ahead of trial

 Former Nissan Motor Co. Chairman Carlos Ghosn (C) arrives at Tokyo District Court in Tokyo, Japan, May 23, 2019. EPA-EFE/JIJI PRESS

Former Nissan Motor Co. Chairman Carlos Ghosn (C) arrives at Tokyo District Court in Tokyo, Japan, May 23, 2019. EPA-EFE/JIJI PRESS

Tokyo, May 23 (efe-epa).- The former head of Nissan and Renault on Thursday attended the first preliminary hearing ahead of his trial, as his defense team sought to speak with the public prosecutors on discordant points in their accusations.

Carlos Ghosn, 65, appeared around 9.30 am local time at the Tokyo District Court, dressed in a suit and accompanied by four of his lawyers, among them the head of his defense team, Junichiro Hironaka.

The closed-door meeting, which lasted an hour and a half, was attended by a judge, the public prosecutors, Ghosn and his defense team, and an interpreter, according to state broadcaster NHK.

Among other things, Ghosn's lawyers urged the public prosecutors to reveal their evidence at the earliest, said NHK.

Ghosn, who holds French, Brazilian and Lebanese citizenship, is accused of allegedly underreporting to the authorities a series of salary compensations he agreed with Nissan since 2009 and also of aggravated breach of trust for a series of allegedly irregular payments.

In total, the former Nissan boss faces four formal charges.

This was the first preliminary hearing, which is likely to be followed by more of such meetings before the start of the trial, the date for which has yet to be fixed.

The head of Ghosn's legal team, Junichiro Hironaka, said after the hearing that they hoped the process would speed up, according to Kyodo news agency.

Ghosn is currently on bail, though he was put in preventive custody on two occasions because of the case.

His first detention lasted 108 days, starting from Nov. 19, 2018, before he secured bail around the beginning of March this year.

The former executive was arrested once again in less than a month following fresh accusations of aggravated breach of trust and was finally released on bail on Apr. 25.

Ghosn and his defense team have rejected all accusations.

mra/sc/dl

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