Tokyo, Oct 27 (EFE).- The defense team for former Nissan Motor executive Greg Kelly on Wednesday maintained his innocence against a charge for allegedly helping former boss Carlos Ghosn underreport compensation.
The 65-year-old American was defended at a final hearing at Tokyo District Court, local news agency Kyodo reported.
Kelly was arrested in Tokyo on Nov. 19, 2018, the same day as Ghosn.
The defense for Kelly, for whom prosecutors are seeking a two-year prison sentence, maintains that he took only lawful steps to compensate Ghosn and retain him at Nissan due to his value to the company.
Ghosn, a former CEO of the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance, has been accused of concealing remuneration deals between 2011-18.
The deals, with an estimated value of up to 9.1 billion yen ($85 million), had been earmarked for after his retirement.
After being held for 37 days, Kelly was released on bail on Dec. 25, 2018 but was prohibited from leaving the country while awaiting trial.
After Ghosn’s shock escape to Beirut at the end of December 2019 while on bail, the cases against him and Kelly were separated as the former chairman could not be tried in absentia.
The verdict in the trial against Kelly will be delivered in the coming months.
The executive joined Nissan’s American subsidiary in 1988. He was one of Ghosn’s main aides and served on the company’s board of directors until his resignation following his arrest.
A representative of Nissan, which is also a defendant in the trial, said the crime was committed only to realize Ghosn’s “self-interest” and claimed its responsibility is “relatively low,” Kyodo reported.
The prosecution has asked for a 200 million yen penalty for Nissan, which has pleaded guilty to the charges against it. EFE