The trial of Greg Kelly, the former right-hand man of ex-Nissan boss Carlos Ghosn, on charges of financial misconduct has begun in a Tokyo court.
Kelly, who is accused of violating Japanese stock market requirements, pleaded not guilty on Tuesday.
The two ex-managers are accused of misrepresenting levels of remuneration in official reports to the Japanese stock exchange, and in Ghosn’s case, under-reporting them for years.
On November 19, 2018, Ghosn and Kelly were arrested in Tokyo. While Kelly stayed in Japan, Ghosn fled to Lebanon. He reportedly hid in a musical instrument case to make his escape.
The court separated 64-year-old United States citizen Kelly’s trial from that of his former boss after Ghosn fled.
Kelly said he did not break any laws in Japan. If he is found guilty, he could face up to 10 years in prison.
Meanwhile, Japanese authorities are making efforts to secure the extradition of Ghosn. Japan has no extradition treaty with Lebanon.
Ghosn once saved Nissan from near bankruptcy and formed the alliance of Renault, Nissan and Mitsubishi. The scandal surrounding him left the grouping in a deep crisis.
The French justice department is also investigating an alleged embezzlement of funds by Ghosn at Renault.
About half a year after his spectacular escape, Japan called on the US authorities to extradite two people suspected of helping him. The father and son were arrested in the US state of Massachusetts in May.