Q&A: Anything to expect from the trial from Nissan, ex-director Kelly

TOKYO — The criminal offense from Japanese automaker Nissan and its former executive Greg Kelly will start in Tokyo District Court on Tuesday. It is the most recent chapter in the unfolding scandal of Carlos Ghosn, a celebrity in Nissan Motor Co. till he and Kelly were detained in late 2018.

Five questions and replies concerning the trial:

A: The charges center around Kelly’s role in alleged under-reporting of Ghosn’s potential reimbursement by roughly 9 billion yen ($85 million), a breach of financial legislation. Kelly says he’s innocent. Nissan, which can be likewise charged, has acknowledged guilt, made corrections to the reimbursement documents filed to the government, and has begun investing in a 2.4 billion yen ($22.6 million) fine.

He jumped bail late this past year and is presently in Lebanon, which has no extradition treaty with Japan. 2 Americans, Michael Taylor and his son Peter Taylor have been hauled in Massachusetts without bond, suspected of having helped Ghosn escape by hiding in a box on a private jet. A U.S. judge recently approved their extradition into Japan. The case is currently before the U.S. State Department.

A: The trial, before a panel of 3 judges, is anticipated to take about a year. There’s not any jury. Juries are chosen only for exceptionally serious cases in Japan, for example, murder. In principle, there are not any plea deals although backroom bargains are created all of the time. Closed pre-trial sessions have been held before the trial’s opening, frequently for weeks before the actual trial starts. Japan’s legal system has come under fire from within and outside the nation as”hostage justice” because suspects often are held for weeks and months without a lawyer present, frequently resulting in false confessions, according to critics.

A: More than 99 percent of criminal trials in Japan lead to a conviction. Western Justice Minister Masako Mori, in an internet demonstration in English hosted by the Japanese Embassy in the U.S., contended the conviction rate is so high since Japan prosecutes just about a third of those cases which produce, picking only those who”lead to guilty verdicts.” She insisted there’s a”presumption of innocence” Jamie Wareham, Kelly’s attorney in the U.S., is convinced Kelly is going to be acquitted because he’s”clearly innocent,” but says he’s been treated unfairly, awaiting trial for almost two decades.


A: Prosecutors will present their opening statement, representing their case from Kelly throughout the initial day of their trial. Republican lawmakers Sen. Roger Wicker out of Mississippi, Sen. Lamar Alexander and Sen. Marsha Blackburn from Tennessee have spoken out in support of Kelly. When asked about the trial, Tokyo Deputy Chief Prosecutor Hiroshi Yamamoto said little beyond reiterating his assurance there was lots of evidence to win a conviction. The maximum penalty for those fees Kelly faces is around a decade.