After former Nissan chairman Carlos Ghosn’s ‘great escape’ from Japan, the Big Auto Boss has blasted Big Law’s Latham & Watkins – along with the “rigged” Japanese Justice sytem, for his incarceration.
In a made-for-Netflix escape, Ghosn absconded from Japan concealed in a double-base case via private jet with former special forces soldiers posing as musicians. He escaped via Turkey before dropping down in Lebanon, where he holds citizenship.
But what was his beef with Latham & Watkins? The firm represented Nissan as outside counsel and handled the internal investigation into Ghosn’s dealings.
“It is the prosecutors aided and abetted by petty and vindictive individuals in the government and Nissan and the L&W [Latham & Watkins] law firm who are destroying Japan’s reputation on the global stage.”
Latham & Watkins have previously come under fire for their handling of the Ghosn affair. Their general counsel, Ravinder Passi has raised his concerns over the ‘Ghosn investigation’, saying it was tainted by conflict of interest issues, particularly because of the relationship between L&W and Nissan senior executive Hari Naa who had reached a plea deal with prosecutors for his actions over the scandal that lead to Ghosn’s arrest.
L&W have to date made no comment about the matter.
An Interpol “red notice” has been issued for Ghosn’s re-arrest. A ‘red notice’ is a request to police across the world to provisionally arrest a person pending extradition, surrender or other similar legal action.
However, Lebanon has no extradition treaty with Japan and Ghosn appears safe if he remains in the country.
He holds French, Lebanese and Brazilian citizenship, and has made extensive investments in banking and real estate in Lebanon.
France has said it will not extradite him if he arrives in the country.
Ghosn had posted 1 billion yen ($NZ13.6 million) in bail in Japan last April, ahead of his trial. He said on his arrival in Lebanon he had “escaped injustice and political persecution”.
On Thursday Ghosn said media speculation that his wife had played a role in his escape was “inaccurate and false”, adding: “I alone arranged for my departure.”