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UN: Ex-Nissan president's detention 'extrajudicial abuse' with 'no legal basis'

Former chairman of Nissan, Carlos Ghosn speaks during a press conference in Beirut, Lebanon on 8 January 2020. [Mahmut Geldi - Anadolu Agency]
Former chairman of Nissan, Carlos Ghosn speaks during a press conference in Beirut, Lebanon on 8 January 2020 [Mahmut Geldi/Anadolu Agency]

Former Chairman of Nissan Carlos Ghosn should receive compensation from the Japanese government for "illegally arresting and detaining him", officials at the UN said yesterday.

"Ghosn's deprivation of freedom from 19 November 2018 to 5 March 2019, and from 4-25 April was fundamentally unfair," the UN Human Rights Council's Working Group on Arbitrary Detention (OHCHR) said in a report.

UHCHR described his repeated arrests as an "abuse of process intended to ensure that he [Ghosn] remained in custody."

"This revolving pattern of detention was an extrajudicial abuse of a process that can have no legal basis under international law," the panel added.

Ghosn, who headed the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance, was arrested in November 2018 for "concealing millions of dollars in income for years." He spent 130 days in a small, unheated cell before being released on bail.

READ: More than 60 prisoners escape Lebanese jail, say security sources

The 64-year-old Brazilian-French-Lebanese citizen has repeatedly insisted he was innocent and was a victim of a "coup". In December, he fled to Lebanon.

OHCHR stressed that the handling of his arrest and detention was "arbitrary", recommending the Japanese government "take the necessary steps to remedy the situation of Ghosn without delay."

"We welcome a courageous decision from an independent and respected authority," the group said.

The five-member UN panel pointed out that it would refer Ghosn's case to the UN's rapporteur on "torture and degrading treatment".

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