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NGOs slam Japan justice system after Ghosn case

In a joint statement, the International Federation for Human Rights and Japan's Center for Prisoners' Rights (CPR) criticised a system that allows lengthy pre-trial detention of suspects.

Former Nissan chairperson Carlos Ghosn. Picture: AFP

TOKYO - Two rights groups on Wednesday urged Japan to reform its justice system, saying the ongoing detention of former Nissan chief Carlos Ghosn illustrated the "serious failings" of the country's system.

In a joint statement, the International Federation for Human Rights and Japan's Center for Prisoners' Rights (CPR) criticised a system that allows lengthy pre-trial detention of suspects.

Ghosn has been detained since his 19 November arrest, and has lost multiple bids for bail as he faces three charges of financial misconduct.

"The international community has finally paid attention to Japan's flawed criminal justice system because of the arrest and detention of former Nissan chief Carlos Ghosn," said CPR secretary-general Maiko Tagusari.

"The denial of Mr. Ghosn's right to a lawyer during interrogation, his prolonged detention prior to indictment, and his prison conditions expose some of the serious failings that have characterised Japan's criminal justice system for too long," Tagusari added in the statement.

The groups urged Japan to "urgently take concrete steps towards addressing serious flaws in the country's justice system," including submitting overdue reports to UN rights bodies.

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