TOKYO — Lawyers in Japan representing Carlos Ghosn said on Wednesday that they had resigned, leaving as the embattled former Nissan chairman prepares to go to court in coming months to face prosecutors’ accusations of financial misconduct.
In a filing with a Tokyo court, Motonari Otsuru said he stepped down as Mr. Ghosn’s attorney. Mr. Otsuru said Masato Oshikubo, who had also represented Mr. Ghosn, had resigned as well.
Mr. Otsuru didn’t give a reason in his resignation, and neither he nor Mr. Oshikubo could be reached for comment. Go Kondo, another lawyer for Mr. Ghosn, and a spokesman for Mr. Ghosn’s family didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.
It wasn’t clear how the resignations would affect Mr. Ghosn’s defense. The former automotive executive, once a titan in his industry, has been charged with failure to report his full compensation to regulators. He has also been charged with improperly transferring personal investment losses from the global financial crisis a decade ago to the company’s books.
No trial date has been set.
A former prosecutor, the gray-haired Mr. Otsuru has played a public role in laying out Mr. Ghosn’s defense so far. Mr. Ghosn has contended that his compensation was adequately disclosed to Nissan officials. Mr. Otsuru also said that Nissan’s board minutes would show that the company had agreed to temporarily provide collateral to offset Mr. Ghosn’s losses.
A month ago, Mr. Otsuru laid out Mr. Ghosn’s defense in greater detail and said preparations for a trial could take months. He also said Mr. Ghosn was adequately coping with being confined in jail, where he has been since his arrest at a Tokyo airport in November.
“He is a very logical person,” Mr. Otsuru said last month. “He wants to use this time as effectively as possible. He doesn’t speak with us about whether his room is small or his bed is uncomfortable. He wants to use this time with his lawyers effectively for the purpose of the investigation.”
The accusations against Mr. Ghosn have rattled Nissan and its partners in a vast auto alliance that includes Renault of France and Mitsubishi Motors of Japan. The auto alliance makes about 10 million cars a year but is contending with tough conditions in the United States and Europe and growing competition in areas like electric cars and self-driving vehicles.