Greg Kelly faces trial alone with Nissan’s Carlos Ghosn

Already a household name in Japan when he was arrested, Mr. Ghosn added to his notoriety by hiring private security contractors to lead an escape in late December from his home in Tokyo, Lebanon, Where he is a citizen and protected from extradition.

While Mr. Kelly’s story lacks some of the drama of his ex-boss’s international exodus, his lawyer, James Wareham, says it also highlights the inherent difficulty of Japan’s justice system beating in its play.

In the months leading up to his trial, Mr. Kelly has spent most of his waking hours working on boxes of documents relating to the prosecution case against him, according to Mr. Weckham. Even when his trial began, prosecutors had more than 70 other boxes to hand over, the lawyer said. The sheer volume of documents, amounting to more than a billion pages, has already overwhelmed the team of lawyers hired to investigate them on Mr. Kelly’s behalf.

“It’s not just weird and normal,” Mr. Wareham said. “It’s barbaric.”

He spoke to America over the phone. Due to coronaviruses, Japan has imposed strict entry restrictions on foreigners, effectively preventing Mr. Wareham from participating in Mr. Kelly’s trial. Mr. Kelly is also represented by a team of Japanese lawyers who will present their defense in court.

The prosecutors’ office declined to comment on Mr. Kelly’s case.

Japan’s Ministry of Justice has dismissed conflicting statements from Mr. Ghosn and Mr. Kelly that the system is unfair, arguing that its design ensures “basic individual human rights” and that men have been treated the same Like they happened to be some other rich person. , Democratic nation.

Still, in March, three Republican senators from Mississippi and Tennessee, where Mr. Kelly worked for Nissan, wrote an op-ed expressing concern about the former executive’s treatment of prosecutors. He said that “non-Japanese officials could comfortably operate in Japan under their legal system, raising serious questions about this.” Mr. Kelly spent $ 220,000 this year, lobbying American lawmakers in the case.