TOKYO - Carlos Ghosn's accusations against Japan's legal system are "absolutely intolerable", Justice Minister Masako Mori said on Thursday, firing back at the auto executive-turned-fugitive shortly after his highly anticipated media appearance in Beirut.
Speaking publicly for the first time since his dramatic escape from Japan, Ghosn said on Wednesday he had been treated "brutally" by Tokyo prosecutors, who he said questioned him for up to eight hours a day without a lawyer present and tried to extract a confession out of him.
In a statement issued shortly after midnight and translated into English and French, Japan's justice minister shot back, repeating that Ghosn's escape from his trial in itself "could constitute a crime".
"Such action would not be condoned under any nation's system," Mori said. "Furthermore, he has been propagating both within Japan and internationally false information on Japan's legal system and its practice. That is absolutely intolerable."
Ghosn, the former chief of Nissan Motor Co Ltd and Renault SA, fled Japan last month as he was awaiting trial on charges of under-reporting earnings, breach of trust and misappropriation of company funds, all of which he denies.