Tokyo prosecutors fail to seize PC used by ex-Nissan chief Ghosn

2020-01-09 03:11:16 GMT2020-01-09 11:11:16(Beijing Time) Xinhua English

TOKYO, Jan. 8 (Xinhua) -- Tokyo prosecutors who tried to seize a computer used by former Nissan chief Carlos Ghosn at his lawyer's office in Tokyo before he jumped bail and fled Japan, were denied access, Ghosn's defense team said Wednesday.

Junichiro Hironaka, a member of Ghosn's defense counsel, denied access to investigators from the Tokyo District Public Prosecutors Office who intended to seize the computer from Hironaka's office, believing Ghosn may have used it in connection with his dramatic escape from Japan while on bail.

Hironaka had opted not to hand over the computer of his own volition and did not allow the investigators to enter his office, Ghosn's defense team said.

"In terms of lawyers' confidentiality, we used the right to refuse seizure based on criminal procedure law, and asked the investigators to leave," Ghosn's defense team said in a statement on the matter.

Ghosn, first arrested on Nov. 19, 2018 for alleged financial misconduct, fled Japan for Lebanon via Turkey, to escape what he called the "rigged Japanese judicial system."

Ghosn, fled Japan to Lebanon on Dec. 29 in breach of his bail conditions and under dramatic circumstances, leading to Japan setting about tightening restrictions on luggage checks for private jets departing the country.

Ghosn, who holds Brazilian, French and Lebanese nationality, is believed to have left from Kansai International Airport in Osaka on a private jet.

Sources close to the matter have said that immigration here have no record of Ghosn leaving Japan.

The former auto bigwig may have hid in box that was designed to carry musical equipment and departed from Japan undetected from the airport in Osaka.

It has been reported that he managed to flee Japan with the assistance of a security company and was in possession of a French passport.

Prosecutors and police here remain flummoxed and have been scrambling to try and determine exactly how Ghosn managed to fund and carry out the escape while under strict bail conditions limiting his access to phones, computers and mandating he stay in a surveilled residence.

The Tokyo District Court, meanwhile, has since decided it will forfeit the 1.5-billion-yen (14 million U.S. dollar) bail money posted by Ghosn.

Japan has been seeking cooperation from Lebanon in trying to better understand Ghosn's escape from Japan.

Japan and Lebanon have no extradition treaty, meaning Ghosn cannot be handed over to Japan to face trail without Lebanon agreeing.