Human rights experts have said Carlos Ghosn was wrongly detained in Japan and that he should get compensation plus other reparations from the Japanese government.
The Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, which works with the UN, found that Ghosn’s detention in Japan in late 2018 and early 2019 was ‘arbitrary’.
The five-member group, which comprises independent experts, is urging Japan’s government to ‘take the necessary steps to remedy the situation of Mr Ghosn without delay’.
It is seeking a ‘full and independent investigation’ of his detention and wants the government ‘to take appropriate measures against those responsible for the violation of his rights’.
The group’s 17-page opinion says that having taken all the circumstances of the case into account, Ghosn should have ‘an enforceable right to compensation and other reparations, in accordance with international law’.
Ghosn, 66, who has French, Lebanese and Brazilian citizenship, led Nissan for two decades, rescuing it from near-bankruptcy.
He was arrested in November 2018 on charges of breach of trust, misusing company assets for personal gain, and violating securities laws in not fully disclosing his compensation, but denies any wrongdoing.
Last December, he fled from Japan to Lebanon while on bail awaiting trial. Interpol has issued a wanted notice but Japan doesn’t have an extradition treaty with Lebanon, so it is unlikely that his case will be heard in Japan.
Ghosn has accused Nissan and Japanese officials of conspiring to bring him down to block a fuller integration of the manufacturer with its alliance partner Renault SA.
His lawyers filed a petition with the group in March 2019 in an appeal to its role of looking into cases in which governments are alleged to have wrongly detained individuals under agreed human rights conventions.
Its opinions aren’t binding on states, though.