The outcome of Greg Kelly's trial, which opened nearly a year and a half ago, was eagerly awaited in Japan and abroad, as it was the first criminal judgment on part of the merits of the sprawling case. Ghosn.

The former collaborator of Carlos Ghosn at Nissan was given a six-month suspended prison sentence on Thursday March 3 for financial embezzlement at the end of his trial in Tokyo, the court announced.

Prosecutors had requested two years in prison against Greg Kelly, who found himself on the front line in this trial after Carlos Ghosn fled to Lebanon at the end of 2019 to escape Japanese justice.

The American had pleaded not guilty.

Nissan, also tried in this trial as a legal entity and which had pleaded guilty for its part, obtained a symbolic fine of 200 million yen (1.6 million euros), in accordance with the requisitions of the prosecution.

Accused of helping Carlos Ghosn

The Ghosn affair started in Japan with the sensational arrest in November 2018 of the big boss of the Renault-Nissan alliance, released on bail the following year.

Greg Kelly, a former head of legal affairs at Nissan, now 65, was arrested on the same day as Carlos Ghosn and on the same initial charge: failing to report to Japanese stock market authorities compensation that Franco -Lebanese-Brazilian was later to collect from Nissan.

Prosecutors accused him of having helped Carlos Ghosn to conceal from the Japanese stock market authorities 9.1 billion yen (some 70 million euros) in remuneration over the period 2010-2018 that Nissan planned to pay him later.

Greg Kelly and his lawyers had however argued that neither the amounts, nor the means of payment nor the schedule of these payments were engraved in stone, and that therefore Nissan had no need to publish this information.

He spent a month in pre-trial detention after his arrest in Japan at the end of 2018, and has since lived on bail with a ban on leaving Japanese territory pending the outcome of his trial.

His lawyers had assured before the verdict that he would appeal in the event of conviction, even a suspended sentence.

With AFP

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