Reports in Japan suggest Motonari Otsuru will be replaced by Junichiro Hironaka

Motonari Otsuru, the lawyer heading the defence for Nissan’s former chairman Carlos Ghosn, has resigned.

Otsuru’s office and a statement submitted to the court confirmed that Otsuru had quit on Wednesday. It was the latest twist in Ghosn’s legal battle after he was arrested in November. He has been charged with falsifying financial reports by under-reporting his compensation and with breach of trust.

Ghosn has repeatedly said he is innocent.

It was unclear why Otsuru was no longer representing Ghosn. Another attorney chosen to represent the 64-year-old also resigned as of Wednesday.

Japanese media said Junichiro Hironaka has been hired to defend Ghosn but the lawyer’s office declined to comment.

Otsuru is a former star Tokyo prosecutor. However, Otsuru and Ghosn seemed to be at odds over his defence, with Ghosn strongly asserting his innocence from the start through his own statements, as well as those of his other lawyers, family members and representatives.

Ghosn has tried without success to gain release on bail, offering to wear an electronic monitoring tag.

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