Nissan employee testifies against American trial in Japan

TOKYO — A Nissan worker testified Tuesday he worked with the other former Nissan executive, American Greg Kelly to discover ways to cover the automaker’s former chairman, Carlos Ghosn without fully revealing his settlement.

Toshiaki Ohnuma, a celebrity witnesses for the prosecution, explained to the Tokyo District Court his role in human resources at Nissan Motor Co., where he stated he managed executive compensation issues, such as working with Kelly on discovering ways to cover Ghosn without revealing it.

Disclosing annual executive cover over 100 million yen (roughly $1 million) became a necessity in Japan in 2010. Ghosn was getting approximately 10 times. Japanese executives that undergo giant paychecks are infrequent, and Nissan was leery of public criticism over the problem.

After 2014, Kelly handed over his responsibilities dealing with cover to a different Nissan executive, Hari Nada, Ohnuma explained. Nada also is scheduled for a witness for the prosecution.

“There was determined paid reimbursement for Mr. Ghosn but also outstanding compensation,” that a gray-suited Ohnuma, sporting a mask to the pandemic, advised the courtroom solemnly.

He called Ghosn as”Ghosn-san,” including the Japanese honorific.

“We worked together to contemplate how to prevent disclosure of the outstanding compensation,” Ohnuma stated of his job with Kelly.

Kelly, a former Nissan executive vice president is the only individual to stand trial in what prosecutors have depicted as a systematic scheme to under-report Ghosn’s settlement.

He’s been charged with under-reporting Ghosn’s settlement by 9.3 billion yen ($88 million) within many decades.

Ohnuma stated he’s worked at Nissan since 1982. He had been the organization’s general director from 2007 through March 2019.

Ghosn was detained and charged with Kelly in November 2018. Ghosn jumped bond late this past year and escaped to Lebanon, a country with no extradition treaty with Japan.

The two Ghosn and Kelly say they’re innocent.

In a statement since the trial started before this month, Kelly emphasized the settlement plans were meant to be a valid means to maintain Ghosn at Nissan. Famous for top Nissan’s turnaround in the late 1990s, Ghosn could have chosen for additional high-income jobs.

The prosecutors for the instance have told the courtroom that a bargain has been made with Ohnuma and Nada.

“The prosecutors have charged those who had to be billed,” Yamamoto told reporters.

It’s being attempted with Kelly at precisely the same court.

The trial is anticipated to last about a year.

Before, prosecutors outlined just how many individuals at Nissan were included in promising Ghosn cover, researching a variety of procedures, including stock options, cover through overseas businesses, and consulting charges.

Prosecutors haven’t clarified how seeking to prevent disclosure of outstanding compensation represents a crime. Prosecution for falsifying financial accounts is uncommon in Japan.

The conviction rate in Japan is greater than 99 percent.

“This is harmful to the beauty of Japan both for recruitment ability in addition to conducting business in Japan,” explained Deguest, who’s also a consultant.

“Japan could have been showing to the world a fair trial together with accountable individuals treated exactly the same manner.”