Swiss court rejects appeal to withhold information from Ghosn investigation – JURIST

The Federal Criminal Court of Switzerland on Friday rejected a call from an anonymous Arab businessman to prevent Japanese prosecutors from gaining access to his bank accounts.

The Japanese authorities are to drive a criminal investigation into violations of the Companies Act and the Financial Instruments and Exchanges Act by Carlos Ghosn, former CEO and Chairman of Nissan. It has been alleged that Ghosn used his position for illicit personal financial advantage and transferred part of his earnings to accounts held by the Arab businessman.

On December 28, 2018, Japanese authorities filed a formal request for documents relating to two bank accounts. This request was accepted by the public prosecutor’s office III of the canton of Zurich. The anonymous Arab businessman appealed against this order under Article 80(h) of the Law on International Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters (“the Law”).

The businessman challenged the request to be denied because Ghosn’s detention in Japan violates article 2 of the law. Particular reference was made to Articles 5 and 6 of the European convention of human rights, as well as Articles 9 and 14 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. The court rejected this argument, stating that constant case law clearly shown how the protection of Article 2 cannot be claimed for a third party.

The court rejected the appeal on the grounds that it was unfounded on all grounds and allowed the release of the documents to the Japanese authorities.

This decision is one of the latest developments related to Ghosn. In March 2021, two American men accused of helping disgraced former Nissan executive Carlos Ghosn flee Japan in 2019 have been extradited from the United States. In June 2021, an american father and son duo pleaded guilty for helping former Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn flee Japan as he faced accusations of financial misconduct.

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