TOKYO -- Japan's justice minister criticized a written opinion by a United Nations panel, saying that claims that former Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn had been treated unfairly under the Japanese legal system were based on "factual errors."
In a written opinion last week, a UN panel of human rights experts concluded that the repeated arrest of Ghosn was "fundamentally unfair" and "appears to be an abuse of process intended to ensure that he remained in custody."
"It's hugely disappointing that the opinion piece was published based on factual errors, relying only on the one-sided claims made by Ghosn and his legal team without an understanding of how our legal system works," Japanese Justice Minister, Yoko Kawakami, said.
"The Japanese government has filed a complaint," she said at a news briefing on Tuesday. The government would be working with the UN Nations to "correct their misunderstandings," she said.
The UN panel also urged the Japanese government to "remedy the situation of Mr. Ghosn without delay."
Ghosn and former Nissan director Greg Kelly were arrested in Tokyo on Nov. 19, 2018, and accused of underreporting the former chairman's compensation. Both have denied wrongdoing. Additional charges were filed later accusing Ghosn of using company assets improperly, which he has denied.
He was living in Tokyo on bail awaiting trial when he fled to Lebanon about a year later, in December 2019.
Ghosn's detention and escape to Lebanon threw Japan's legal system into the international spotlight, with critics viewing its judicial practices as overly harsh.
In what has been called "hostage justice" by critics, the Japanese legal systems allow detainees to be interrogated without a lawyer present, and prisoners held in custody are often refused bail if they deny charges.
Ghosn has denied any wrongdoing and says that he would have not received a fair trial in Japan. He has also claimed that he was a victim of a boardroom coup - a claim that Nissan has denied and called baseless.