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Former Renault-Nissan chairman Carlos Ghosn has beefed up his defense team ahead of his trial in Japan by hiring Junichiro Hironaka, a star lawyer with a strong track record for winning rare acquittals in a country where the conviction rate is 99 percent.

Another new attorney on his team, Hiroshi Kawatsu, is an expert on judicial reform who has studied and done research in the U.S.

ICHIRO OZAWA: An influential lawmaker known as the “shadow shogun” for his backroom dealings, Ozawa was charged with false financial reports on political funding, linked to a 2004 land deal. He was acquitted in 2012, while three aides got suspended sentences. Ozawa’s defense argued he was innocent as he had no knowledge of the deal.

KAZUYOSHI MIURA: The Japanese businessman was suspected of involvement in the shooting death of his wife in Los Angeles in 1981. Miura was shot in the leg while his wife was shot in the head. Miura’s 1994 conviction was overturned by two higher courts, including a 2003 Supreme Court ruling. Hironaka led the defense in both. Arrested in Saipan, Miura was extradited to the U.S. in 2008 on conspiracy charges since murder charges would have amounted to double jeopardy. He was found dead in his jail cell while awaiting arraignment. The coroner ruled it a suicide.

ATSUKO MURAKI: A welfare ministry official, Muraki was arrested in 2009 on suspicion of falsely approving a group to qualify for mail discounts. She asserted her innocence, saying she knew nothing about such a group. She was acquitted in 2010. One of the first women to rise in Japan’s government bureaucratic ranks, she has written books criticizing the Japanese criminal system, drawing on her roughly five months of detention.

TAKESHI ABE: The head of a government AIDS research team, in 1996 Abe was charged with professional negligence resulting in death, in a major scandal over the sale of HIV-tainted blood products in 1983-85 that caused 2,000 Japanese, mostly hemophiliacs, to contract the AIDS virus. The blood had not been heat-treated to kill the virus, a procedure that was used in the U.S. but not approved for use in Japan until 1985. Abe denied wrongdoing, saying he didn’t know the products would lead to infection. He was acquitted in 2001 after a four year trial and died in 2004, while facing an appeal.


The son of former Nissan chairman Carlos Ghosn said in an interview published Sunday that people will be surprised when his father, detained since Nov. 19 for allegedly falsifying financial reports, recounts his version of events to a Tokyo court on Tuesday.

Anthony Ghosn, 24, told France's Journal du Dimanche that his father — who will remain detained until at least Jan. 11 — will get 10 minutes to talk at the hearing, being held at his own request.

"For the first time, he can talk about his version of the allegations against him," Anthony Ghosn said in the interview with the weekly paper Journal du Dimanche. "I think everyone will be rather surprised hearing his version of the story. Until now, we've only heard the accusers."

The son has no direct contact with his father, and gets information via lawyers. He said his father, who for decades was a revered figure in the global auto industry, has lost about 10 kilograms (22 pounds) eating three bowls of rice daily, but he reads books and "he resists."

Ghosn refuses to cave in, said his son, contending that he would be freed from detention if he admitted guilt to the prosecutor.



Lawyers say the taxi hailing app Uber has lost its appeal against a ruling that its drivers should be classed as workers in a case with broad implications for the gig economy.

Law firm Leigh Day says Britain's Court of Appeal upheld an earlier ruling that found the company's drivers are workers, not independent contractors and therefore should receive the minimum wage and paid holidays. Uber is expected to appeal.

Though the company argued that the case applies to only two drivers, Uber has tens of thousands of drivers in the U.K. who could argue they deserve the same status as the former drivers covered by decision. The court says some 40,000 drivers use the platform in the U.K., though the company said the number had grown since the submission to 50,000.

San Francisco-based Uber has expanded rapidly around the world by offering an alternative to traditional taxis through a smartphone app that links people in need of rides with drivers of private cars. That has drawn protests from taxi drivers who say Uber and similar services are able to undercut them.



Dutch motivational speaker Emile Ratelband may feel like a 49-year-old but according to Dutch law he is still 69.

A Dutch court on Monday rejected Ratelband’s request to shave 20 years off his age in a case that drew worldwide attention.

“Mr. Ratelband is at liberty to feel 20 years younger than his real age and to act accordingly,” Arnhem court said in a press statement . “But amending his date of birth would cause 20 years of records to vanish from the register of births, deaths, marriages and registered partnerships. This would have a variety of undesirable legal and societal implications.”

Ratelband went to court last month, arguing that he didn’t feel 69 and saying his request was consistent with other forms of personal transformation which are gaining acceptance in the Netherlands and around the world, such as the ability to change one’s name or gender.

The court rejected that argument, saying that unlike in the case of a name or gender, Dutch law assigns rights and obligations based on age “such as the right to vote and the duty to attend school. If Mr. Ratelband’s request was allowed, those age requirements would become meaningless.”

Ratelband, perhaps unsurprisingly given his background as self-described advocate of positive thinking, was undeterred by the court’s rejection and vowed to appeal.

“This is great!” he said. “The rejection of (the) court is great ... because they give all kinds of angles where we can connect when we go in appeal.”

He said he was the first of “thousands of people who want to change their age.”

The court said it acknowledged “a trend in society for people to feel fit and healthy for longer, but did not regard that as a valid argument for amending a person’s date of birth.”

Ratelband also insisted his case did have parallels with requests for name and gender changes.

“I say it’s comparable because it has to do with my feeling, with respect about who I think ... I am, my identity,” he said.

The court said Ratelband failed to convince the judges that he suffers from age discrimination, adding that “there are other alternatives available for challenging age discrimination, rather than amending a person’s date of birth.”


A Spanish court on Tuesday rejected a request to extradite a former HSBC employee to serve a five-year prison sentence in Switzerland, where he was convicted for leaking a massive trove of bank data that led to tax evasion probes worldwide.

The ruling was the second time Spain's National Court refused to extradite Herve Falciani, a French-Italian computer expert who in 2008 disclosed tens of thousands of records of HSBC customers who allegedly used the bank's Swiss branch to avoid taxes. He was convicted in absentia of breaching financial secrecy laws in Switzerland in 2015.

A panel of three National Court judges ruled Tuesday that Falciani had already been cleared from extradition in 2013, when the same court ruled that "aggravated economic espionage" is not a crime in Spain.

The judges also say that Falciani didn't reveal any secrets because he only shared them with authorities who initiated investigations in dozens of countries, including in Spain.

Falciani, 46, was first arrested in Spain in 2012. He spent 170 days in prison before he was released. He was arrested again in Madrid in April, in a renewed effort by Swiss authorities to make him serve his prison time.

Falciani said he believed Spain's previous conservative administration arrested him in order to use him as "a bargaining chip" in requests to extradite pro-independence Catalan politicians in Switzerland.

In an interview with The Associated Press last week, he said the only explanation of why he was arrested again this year after a lull in his case was political.


About AraMarks Intellectual Property

AraMarks Intellectual Property is not a law firm; it is the IP arm of Sultan Al-Abdulla & Partners (SAP) in Qatar, and a Middle Eastern evolving intellectual property professional firm in other jurisdictions.

In Qatar, where QATARLAW.NET was founded and where our Head Office is, our relation with Sultan Al-Abdulla & Partners mirrors the modern and revolutionary understanding of Intellectual Property Management (IPM). Sultan Al-Abdulla & Partners is a Qatari law Firm duly licensed to assist IP Rights owners enforcing their rights in courts of law or other dispute resolution channels once the certain right is created or registered. AraMarks Intellectual Property actively assists and participates in managing the client most valuable asset, by way of protection, maintenance, commercialization and exploitation. This professional set up aims ultimately to streamline the services offered to the client in term of quality, transparency and reliability.

The bar of our services quality was surely raised with this positioning. Our scope of value added services extended from the classic and straight forward application and prosecution services to advising our clients on how to manage their IP portfolios, how to extract the best value of their IP assets, how to build and retain an IP culture within the client’s organization and many more quality and value based IP services.



The International Criminal Court says it will continue to do its work "undeterred," despite National security adviser John Bolton's condemnation.

olton asserted Monday the court "threatens American sovereignty and U.S. national security interests."

The Netherlands-based court said in a statement Tuesday it was established by a treaty supported by 123 countries. It says it prosecuted cases only when those countries failed to do so or did not do so "genuinely."

The court pledges to "continue to do its work undeterred, in accordance with those principles and the overarching idea of the rule of law."

Bolton's speech came as an ICC judge was expected to soon announce a decision on a request from prosecutors to open an investigation into allegations of war crimes committed by Afghan national security forces, Taliban and Haqqani network militants and U.S. forces and intelligence in Afghanistan.

Iran's foreign minister is criticizing the United States for its opposition to the International Criminal Court.

Mohammad Javad Zarif said on his Twitter account Tuesday, "The US threatens to impose sanctions on the ICC & even prosecute its judges in American courts. Where is the outrage?"

He says, "The boorishness of this rogue US regime seems to know no bounds."

U.S. national security adviser John Bolton on Monday denounced the legitimacy of the Netherlands-based court, which was created in 2002 to prosecute war crimes.

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