Ghosn Rules out Plea Bargaining

Bill Hampton

Carlos Ghosn’s legal team says the ex-chairman of Nissan Motor Co. has zero interest in pleading guilty to a lesser charge to avoid a possible 15-year prison sentence for financial misconduct.

Junichiro Hironaka, who heads Ghosn’s defense team, tells reporters Ghosn is focused on exonerating himself of all charges in what Hironaka has described as a “hostage justice” situation created by prosecutors.

Ghosn was jailed a year ago and won’t begin his first trial until next spring. He faces two charges of failing to report $82 million in deferred compensation over eight years, and two charges that he illegally diverted corporate funds to associates or for personal gain.

Hironaka has portrayed the charges as the result of an illegal conspiracy by prosecutors and disgruntled Nissan executives to frame Ghosn and force him out of the company. Hironaka also claims prosecutors collected evidence illegally and have imposed draconian terms of incarceration on Ghosn.