A UN task force believes that "the process of arresting and detaining Carlos Ghosn four times in Japan was fundamentally unfair".

Experts ask that the former boss of Renault and Nissan be compensated.

The "deprivation of liberty" of the former auto magnate Carlos Ghosn in Japan was "arbitrary", assures the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, which demands that the former boss of Renault and Nissan be compensated.

These independent experts, who report to the Human Rights Council but do not speak on behalf of the United Nations, paint a damning picture.

The Japanese government deemed this opinion "totally unacceptable" and stressed that it "is" not "legally binding".

"The process of arrest and detention was fundamentally unfair"

In their opinion posted on November 20, but only released to the media on Monday, the experts conclude that "the process of arresting and detaining Carlos Ghosn on four occasions was fundamentally unfair, as it prevented him from regaining his freedom and to benefit from other rights to a fair trial, in particular the right to communicate freely with a lawyer ".

And to add: the "violations of the right to a fair trial were of such gravity that they conferred on the detention of Carlos Ghosn an arbitrary character".

In addition, they emphasize, "Carlos Ghosn was detained in conditions such as to force him to make statements implicating him, this in violation of his right to the presumption of innocence".

UN experts stress that their opinion does not relate to the accusations against Carlos Ghosn in Japan, but on the conditions under which the procedure was conducted.

In this regard, the UN Working Group is of the opinion that "the deprivation of liberty of Carlos Ghosn from November 19, 2018 to March 5, 2019 and from April 4 to 25, 2019, in violation of articles 9, 10 and 11 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Articles 9, 10 and 14 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, was arbitrary ".


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"Exceptionally strict" bail conditions

He notes in particular that the bail conditions imposed on Carlos Ghosn "seem to have been exceptionally strict, in particular the prohibition, during the second period of bail, of any contact with his wife, other than by through his lawyers, without prior authorization from the court and for an indefinite period ".

"Considering all the circumstances of the case, the appropriate remedy would be to grant Carlos Ghosn an enforceable right to compensation and other reparations, in accordance with international law," he said.

For the lawyers of Carlos Ghosn, Fran├žois Zimeray and Jessica Finelle, this opinion "is a courageous decision which constitutes a decisive turning point", and which "establishes irrefutably what we had denounced upon the arrest of Carlos Ghosn: an arbitrary detention, a denial of his right to impartial justice, undignified and degrading treatment ".

The Working Group urges the Japanese government to ensure "a full and independent investigation into the circumstances surrounding the arbitrary detention of Carlos Ghosn, and to take appropriate action against those responsible for the violation of his rights."

The experts, who have worked on elements provided by an unnamed "source", ask the latter and the Japanese government to provide them with information on the measures taken, in particular as regards reparation, in a six-month period. 

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Several arrests and an incredible leak

The former boss of the world number one in the automobile industry Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Motors was arrested on November 19, 2018 when he landed in Tokyo, suspected of having failed to declare a large part of his income to the stock market authorities between 2010 and 2015. On March 5, 2019, a Japanese judge accepted his release on bail, with a ban on leaving Japan, but a few weeks later, on April 4, he was arrested again, accused of having used $ 5 million for his personal benefit before being released on bail on April 25.

Carlos Ghosn, who denies these accusations, arrived in Beirut on December 30 after an incredible flight from Japan, which he is suspected of having left hidden in a box of audio equipment.