TOKYO — As embattled former Renault-Nissan Chairman Carlos Ghosn heads into his fourth month locked in a Japanese jail, his lawyers are mounting a reinvigorated legal offensive that focuses the blame on Nissan.
The new narrative hints at conspiracy with a simple message: The case is "not normal."
Ghosn, held in a Tokyo detention center since his Nov. 19 arrest on financial misconduct charges, replaced his legal team this month to spearhead a more aggressive defense as the case heads to trial. The team came out swinging in its first press conference last week.
Junichiro Hironaka — nicknamed the Razor for his cutting questions — blamed Nissan Motor Co. for his client's legal troubles. Hironaka said disputes over Ghosn's compensation and other financial dealings were an in-house corporate concern.
"It seems to me that this is Nissan's internal problem," Hironaka said. "It hasn't caused any specific problems or dangers and hasn't caused any damage to anyone. Nissan is supposed to handle this internally, but somehow the company has brought the case to prosecutors. In principle, prosecutors should not get involved in civil cases, but they did."