Tokyo, March 3 (EFE).- A Tokyo court on Thursday found former Nissan Motor Co. executive Greg Kelly guilty on charges related to the underreporting of former chief executive Carlos Ghosn’s compensation.
While the prosecution had asked for a two-year prison sentence, Kelly was handed six-months, suspended for three years.
He was accused of conspiring with his former Nissan boss to underreport his remuneration by about 9 billion yen over eight years through March 2018.
The judge concluded that Kelly was guilty of charges for the 2017 fiscal year only, and acquitted him of the irregularities corresponding to the other seven years.
Kelly was arrested in Tokyo on Nov. 19, 2018, the same day as Ghosn, and had maintained his innocent throughout, saying he had sought legal ways to retain Ghosn.
The 65-year-old American lawyer was a representative director of Nissan, one of the most responsible positions on the company’s board, and was considered Ghosn’s right-hand man.
Ghosn and Nissan were also charged over the case.
The Tokyo District Court imposed fines on Nissan on Thursday worth 200 million yen ($1.7 million), the same amount demanded by prosecutors.
Thursday’s sentence is the first ruling on the high-profile Ghosn case launched in 2018. He once one of the most respected executives in the auto sector, and has denied wrongdoing.
After his shock escape from Tokyo 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. There is no extradition agreement between Japan and Lebanon.
In July last year, two Americans extradited from the United States were found guilty in Japan of helping Ghosn escape. Michael Taylor was sentenced to two years in prison, and his son Peter was sentenced 20 months. EFE