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Carlos Ghosn's lead defence lawyer resigns, East Asia News & Top Stories

13 February 2019

Nissan said on Tuesday that it had recognised around 9 billion yen ($84 million) in additional expenses linked to payments to Ghosn. Ghosn was arrested last November over allegations of financial misconduct, and was subsequently removed from his positions as chairman and representative director at Nissan. He has denied the charges.

Ohtsuru is a former star Tokyo prosecutor.

"Otsuru was miscast. He worked at the heart of the special prosecutors' office so he was not someone who was going to go after them aggressively", Gohara said. "He will mount a more thorough and aggressive defense".

There was no immediate explanation as to why the attorneys, who include lead lawyer Motonari Otsuru, were quitting Ghosn's defence team.

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Earlier Otsuru's firm issued a brief statement saying only that he and another lawyer had "submitted letters of resignation to the court as the defence lawyers for the case of Mr. Ghosn". Go Kondo, Ghosn's third defense lawyer, was unavailable for comment.

Ghosn thanked Otsuru and his team for their "tireless and diligent work and courage during the interrogation phase of my incarceration" and hailed his former counsel as a "very capable and intelligent man and lawyer".

"Renault has gathered sufficient evidence to understand and regret the methods used by Nissan and its lawyers to seek interviews with Renault employees through the Japanese public prosecutor's office", they said.

The sudden change in attorneys comes ahead of the expected start of informal meetings with prosecutors and judges to discuss pretrial preparations, an indication that there will be no new charges against Ghosn. "I look forward to defending myself vigorously, and this represents the beginning of the process of not only establishing my innocence but also shedding light on the circumstances that led to my unjust detention".

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Lawyers for French carmaker Renault have criticised their Japanese alliance partner Nissan for its handling of an internal probe into the Carlos Ghosn scandal, a Sunday newspaper has reported.

Much of the tension between the partners stems from a complex ownership structure that gives Renault 43 percent of Nissan, whereas Nissan owns just 15 percent stake in the French company - and no voting rights.

Renault's newly-appointed chairman, Jean-Dominique Senard, will meet Nissan chief executive Hiroto Saikawa in Yokohama this week in a bid to secure the ties between the two companies.

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Carlos Ghosn's lead defence lawyer resigns, East Asia News & Top Stories