the trial of former Nissan administrator Greg Kelly without Carlos Ghosn

The trial of Greg Kelly, former collaborator of Carlos Ghosn at Nissan, opens on Tuesday in Tokyo. The American, accused of helping to hide some of his former boss’s income, preparing to face justice alone, Carlos Ghosn fled to Lebanon in late 2019.

Greg Kelly, the former administrator of Nissan, is on trial from Tuesday, September 15 in Tokyo. The trial begins almost two years after prosecutors accused him of conspiring to hide part of the income of his former boss, Carlos Ghosn, the fired president of the Japanese manufacturer who fled to Lebanon last year.

Greg Kelly arrived at the courthouse around 10 a.m. local time (3 p.m. KST), wearing a mask and gray-gray suit. Together with three of his lawyers, he did not say a word to the press before entering the building.

Released on bail in 2018, Greg Kelly denies any wrongdoing. “I am not guilty of violating any law in Japan,” the American lawyer said in an interview broadcast on Monday by the Japanese channel TBS. “I would have liked to have him here to testify,” said Greg Kelly of Carlos Ghosn. “It’s a little difficult for everything to be said when the main witness is not there,” he added.

The hope of an acquittal

Greg Kelly is accused of helping Carlos Ghosn hide more than 9 billion yen (about 72 million euros) of his income over an eight-year period. He faces up to ten years in prison and a fine of 10 million yen (approximately 79,000 euros). But his lawyers told AFP they are hopeful he will be acquitted, despite the extremely high conviction rate (over 99%) in criminal cases in Japan.

Nissan, which appears to be a legal entity, will, however, plead guilty, according to several sources interviewed by AFP. But the group maintains a low profile in this mood and fears negative “medialo” for its image.

The trial, in which Nissan is also among the accused, can last for almost a year. Several executives of the Japanese manufacturer are called to appear, including former CEO Hiroto Saikawa.

With Reuters and AFP