Carlos Ghosn's Japanese lawyers ask to be removed from case

[TOKYO] Carlos Ghosn's Japanese lawyers, hired after the former Nissan Motor Co chairman was sent to jail in November, have asked to be removed from the case, potentially hurting the car titan's defence against the financial-misconduct allegations that have shocked the global car industry.

Ghosn has selected Junichiro Hironaka as his new lawyer, the Sankei reported, citing unidentified people.

The previous lawyers, including Motonari Otsuru, have notified the court that they will no longer represent him as legal counsel, according to an emailed statement Wednesday. The crew led the defence of Ghosn, who has been jailed in Tokyo since his Nov 19 arrest and is awaiting a trial.

Ghosn, indicted for alleged misconduct including understating his income at Nissan by tens of millions of dollars, has denied wrongdoing. Prosecutors say the alleged crimes could carry a jail term of up to 10 years.

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