The wife of former Nissan Chairman Carlos Ghosn has contacted the Human Rights Watch group in a plea to minimize the purportedly harsh treatment and severity of punishment her husband has received by the Japanese criminal justice system for alleged underreporting of income and aggravated breach of trust, The Japan Times reports.
Nissan filed a criminal complaint against Ghosn last week for misusing company funds and transferring his personal losses to the automaker in 2008. The company called for “strict penalties,” while his wife Carole argued heavily in her nine-page letter to Tokyo’s Human Rights Watch branch that the conditions under which he was interrogated and those he’s currently experiencing in detention are not only unfair but inhumane.
“My husband’s is a case study in the realities of this draconian system,” she wrote. “For hours each day, the prosecutors interrogate him, browbeat him, lecture him, and berate him, outside the presence of his attorneys, in an effort to extract a confession. No human being should be detained under conditions so harsh that their only plausible purpose is to coerce a confession.”
Carlos Ghosn firmly asserted his innocence in the Tokyo District Court last week, marking his first public appearance since his arrest in mid-November. Having lost nearly six and a half pounds in two weeks, eating meals consisting of rice and barley, being denied his medication and bathing only two or three times per week, his wife claims, are considerable grounds for the Human Rights Watch to take action.
“My husband is well-known as a person of unimpeachable honor, honesty, and integrity,” she wrote.
Her letter also addresses previous attempts by international human rights groups to curb Japan’s harsh practices within the criminal justice system, while prosecutors have continuously denied appeals for bail and consider the defendant a flight risk who must remain detained. Regarding the alleged conditions Carlos Ghosn is under, spokeswoman for the Foreign Ministry, Natsuko Sakata, staunchly disagreed.
“He is treated under the appropriate procedure, assuring fundamental human rights of individuals and undergoing strict judicial examination in (accordance) with relevant domestic laws of Japan,” said Sakata.
Deputy Prosecutor in the Tokyo District Public Prosecutors Office, Shin Kukimoto, said the office is confident in their case, though no trial date has yet been set.