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Wife says ex-Nissan chief Ghosn is suffering from severe treatment in prison



(Reuters) – The wife of Nissan Motor Co Ltd ( 7201.T ) President Carlos Ghosn has called on Human Rights Watch to draw attention to the "hard treatment" he has received while detained a Japanese prison, according to a letter seen by Reuters on Sunday.

FILE PHOTO – Carlos Ghosn, President and CEO of Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance, participates in the Tomorrow In Motion event on the eve of the press day at the Paris Auto Show in Paris, France on October 1, 2018. REUTERS / Regis Duvignau / File Picture

The Japanese authorities have charged Ghosn with under-reporting income and aggravated the violation of confidence to temporarily transfer personal investment losses to Nissan in 2008.

Carole Ghosn, in 9-page letter to Kanae Doi, Japan's Human Rights Watch Director, the non-governmental organization asked the group to "shine a light on my husband's harsh treatment and the human rights-related inequalities inflicted on him by the Japanese legal system."

Ghosn was in charge of an alliance that included Nissan Motor 7201.T ), Mitsubishi Motors ( 7211.T ) and France's Renault ( RENA.PA ]), until his arrest in November and removal as car manufacturer chairman sent shockwaves through the industry.

The government has denied requests to terminate its 39-day detention. His lawyers have said it would probably take more than six months for his case to come to court.

New York-based Human Rights Watch officials, Nissan and Japan's US Embassy could not reach comments on the letter.

Friday, Nissan said it had filed a criminal complaint against Ghosn with Tokyo prosecutors for abusing a "substantial amount of company funds."

The former Nissan leader was held on a 75-square-foot unheated cell and denied his daily medication, according to Carole Ghosn's letter. He has lost 7 kg since his detention and eats only rice and barley, the letter said.

Prosecutors in Japan often try to extract confessions from detained prisoners who could last months, Carole Ghosn claimed in the letter.

"For hours every day, the prosecutors ask him, browbeat him, lecture him, and prepare him outside his lawyers, in an attempt to extract a confession," she said.

"No one should be forced to endure what my husband is facing every day, especially in a developed nation like Japan, the third largest economy in the world," she said.

Ghosn said he was "mistakenly accused and unfairly detained based on merciless and unfounded accusations" during a Tokyo trial last week, his first public appearance since his arrest in November.

Reporting by Liana B. Baker and Mike Spector in New York; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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