Japan okays GPS tracking for bail after Ghosn case

Japan okays GPS tracking for bail after Ghosn case

TOKYO, JAPAN — Japan on Wednesday enacted a law authorising courts to use GPS for tracking defendants on bail, a measure pushed for after the dramatic 2019 escape of former Nissan boss Carlos Ghosn.

The revised criminal procedure law approved Wednesday will enable courts to order the placement of GPS devices on defendants to prevent them from fleeing Japan.

The defendants will be banned from removing or destroying the trackers and prohibited from entering areas designated by courts as off-limits, such as ports and airports.

Violations could incur detention and imprisonment of up to a year.

Calls for GPS monitoring, common in many countries for those on bail or under house arrest, followed Ghosn’s escape from Japan after he was smuggled onto a private plane in a large musical equipment case.

Ghosn, who was arrested in November 2018, fled while on bail, facing financial misconduct charges that he denied. He remains an international fugitive.

The incident left Japanese officials red-faced and ignited scrutiny of what some saw as security shortcomings.

The GPS surveillance introduced by the new bill can only be ordered to prevent the possibility of international bail-jumping.


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