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Ghosn's lawyer says he is stunned his client left country

73 Comments
By Yuri Kageyama

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73 Comments

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Congratulations to Ghosn on his escape! He would never have got a fair trial in Japan.

33 ( +53 / -20 )

Readers, please refrain from posting "congratulations" remarks. This is a serious issue.

“Maybe he thought he won't get a fair trial,” Hironaka said

In Japan, detention time can last up to 21 days for single charge it's common that you can get multiple charge so you can multiple detention days with number charge they brought. After that unless you can afford bail or they grant you a bail, you'll end up waiting detention while waiting for trial. While in detention your communication with lawyer is really limited while they can know every detail of your defense strategy. So fair trial in Japan?

20 ( +26 / -6 )

Some foreign commentators who have been defending Ghosn are now saying that while he may have saved his own rear end, he has given Japanese prosecutors a solid basis for claiming that foreign nationals are a flight risk and need to be kept locked up until they are tried in court.

The same commentators are also suggesting, and I agree, that the Japanese government may well have looked the other way and "allowed" Ghosn to flee.

There are almost certainly a number of Japanese and foreign nationals who will be very relieved that Ghosn will not be in court naming names and incriminating others.

19 ( +23 / -4 )

“Maybe he thought he won't get a fair trial,” Hironaka said, stressing he continues to believe Ghosn is innocent. “I can't blame him for thinking that way.”

And that's that!

15 ( +18 / -3 )

Ghosn is together with his family again. Japan has made an utter fool of itself, and Japan has only itself to blame.

A legal system utterly unfit for purpose.

10 ( +14 / -4 )

Ghosn's lawyer says he is stunned his client left country

I bet he is!

9 ( +13 / -4 )

Rgcivilian1– He’s never coming back to Japan. I’m sure he has a team of bodyguards set up.

8 ( +10 / -2 )

I can't really blame him for running. The Japanese judicial system procrastinated for over a year. How much longer did the prosecution need? He obviously tried to defend himself at the beginning but how long should a man wait in confinement if he has an exit plan? I look forward to reading the interview or perhaps the book that sheds more light on his side of the story.

8 ( +17 / -9 )

Some people here could dislike Japanese legal system, but their passionate defence for this millionaire is incomprehensible. I just read an article in Italian press about him and he isn't considered "a hero" in any way. Maybe you guys should choose a better candidate to denounce the problems that you see in Japanese legal system.

Better candidate? In the past Olympus ex-CEO Michael Woodford try to do that nothing really happen, in fact they ousted him from CEO position. Other candidate can be Livedoor Horiemon, his mistake unlike most of Japan Inc he wasn't well connected at that time. Now he even give personal comment for Ghosn.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kj4EYP0c-9U

8 ( +9 / -1 )

Take the money and run, baby! Yeah!

How many millions did this guy, Ghosn, make anyway? He must be one very happy man right now. White collar crime. It just goes to show that if you're going to steal, steal big.

8 ( +13 / -5 )

Mirai Hayashi - An innocent person wouldn't flee the country before his trial

Unless that 'innocent' person had been unfairly locked in prison and then released on bail stipulations that deny him any civil liberties, of course. He fled the unfair and prejudiced Japanese legal system. Only in Japan is one guilty until proven innocent. He was indicted on hearsay from a jealous board of directors. Keeping him in prison and under house arrest for over a year while they build a case against him is absurd! The evidence should have been collected and the case against him prepared before his arrest.

8 ( +14 / -6 )

Does Japan have an extradition agreement with Lebanon? The man will be sure to go somewhere he is sure to have immunity.

Well obviously there is a reason he chose Lebanon over Brazil or France.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

Guys you know it's all masquerade. They let him "run away" because actually they didn't have any proof of his wrongdoings.

Legally, if Ghosn was still on bail, there is no question that he ran away. Bail is requested by the accused and any conditions must be agreed to by the accused before bail is granted and release from custody is permitted. Bail is frequently opposed by prosecutors on the grounds - whether justified or not - that the accused is a flight risk. With money, connections, multiple nationalities, and access to private aircraft, Ghosn was always a flight risk.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Ghosn had posted 1.5 billion yen bail on two separate releases. Ghosn had been rearrested on additional charges after an earlier release.

He'll make ten times that amount with media and book deals. I'm looking forward to seeing him on Opra.

Many will think him a coward for skipping bail, but I totally support him. He was being railroaded by the Japanese injustice system. His guilt was already decided upon. They were just finding the pieces to make it stick. Ghosn mustn't have had much faith in his Japanese lawyer to do a runner on him too.

7 ( +19 / -12 )

I think he didn't escape, he was free to go so JAPAN inc could save face and move forward for the new year.

Ghosn was a thorn in the way Japanese prosecutors do business. They couldn't break him so they "wagged the dog" and sent him on his way.

6 ( +12 / -6 )

Guys you know it's all masquerade. They let him "run away" because actually they didn't have any proof of his wrongdoings.

So it's a win win situation. We let you escape from Japan on "private plane" and as a reward we won't have to prosecute you for now reasons and be under scrutiny from other countries.

6 ( +12 / -6 )

@Alex80

I just read an article in Italian press about him and he isn't considered "a hero" in any way. Maybe you guys should choose a better candidate to denounce the problems that you see in Japanese legal system.

No one is saying he is a hero. Is he a criminal? Probably. Hasn't been proven. What most people are saying is why is he behind bars when no one on team Abe is behind bars. No one is the Kepco scandal is behind bars. The list can go on and on.

Also, Ghosn would be a fool to think he can challenge the Japanese legal system. It's very rare and almost impossible for one person to make a change. Especially in an institution that has been that way for hundreds of years. The only people that can change anything in Japan are Japanese people.

6 ( +12 / -6 )

Lebanon is in chaos now still searching for a new Prime Minister. Ghosn is now a candidate for the premiership. Once he becomes the PM, all his sins will be washed away and can travel back to Japan on diplomatic passport and as head of government.

6 ( +9 / -3 )

If the Nazi regime arrested you, you have the same chance of a fair trial as in Japan in 2020. Guilty or not is not the question as that's obviously just not going to happen. He had to flee for both his own benifit and more importantly not to draw international attention to Japan's farcical pre pubescent justice system during the Olympics. I'm sure he was driven, escorted by bespectacled beauracracts all the way to the plane.

6 ( +13 / -7 )

Peter Ellis. Your comments are fanciful at best. Not sure how much you know about Japan and the criminal justice system here but it is a very very different creature to the one you may know very well. It will likely be revealed that he walked straight through immigration at Narita Airport and took the late Saturday night Turkish Airlines flight to Istanbul, no doubt in disguise and travelling on someone else's passport. How many blind eyes might have been turned is anyone's guess but face-saving is a national pastime that goes all the way to the top.

5 ( +13 / -8 )

Japan does not have an extradition treaty with Lebanon. I'm sure, being a billionaire, you'll have no problem getting documentation that would allow him to travel the world from Lebanon.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Of course Ghosn's lawyer cannot say he knew and act "stunned". He is also a member of the legal system in Japan. The Code of Ethics, Art. 4 mentions Japanese practicing attorneys cannot cannot be involved in "unlawful conduct". If he knew he would be obligated to immediately report the plan.

Ghosn has a plan to ensure the Japan side plays fair, and I look forward to seeing the next episode.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Maybe you guys should choose a better candidate to denounce the problems that you see in Japanese legal system.

Why? The problems with the Japanese justice system is the issue and becoming more well known thanks to higher profile cases. However, many others over the years have suffered. As Carlos mentioned in his brief press announcement later today - He has "not fled justice — I have escaped injustice and political persecution." The larger issue is about confronting the legal system in Japan and he can only do this from afar unfortunately. As a start, I've seen a number of times how the judiciary does not justify how they arrived at a decision or which laws they followed.

5 ( +12 / -7 )

I had a feeling that Ghosn was being railroaded. But the facts will not be outed now. Carlos is.... Ghosn.

Does Japan have an extradition agreement with Lebanon? The man will be sure to go somewhere he is sure to have immunity.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

I don't blame Ghosn. His treatment has been unfair and especially after watching the numerous Japanese government officials and executives get off free with not even a slap on a wrist. It makes sense why he would choose to run especially since knowing he wasn't going to receive a fair trial.

Lebanon has no extradition laws for its citizens so Ghosn is safe.

4 ( +10 / -6 )

I'm disappointed with Ghost. But why do you want to gain the trust of some straingers and challenge the archaic Japanese legal system when you can regain your own freedom?

4 ( +7 / -3 )

Carlos Gone

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Good to see that, once again, laws are only for the common man.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

To date Ghosn has not been guilty of a single crime.

4 ( +9 / -5 )

Alex80

He will escape the Japanese unfair legal system, 

If you followed Japan domestic affair there so many scandals in past years but somehow people who get involved especially Japan execs they just walked away from it. That's really in contrast to what happen to Ghosn in Japan, he being detained right away.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

As for his attorneys, he seems to have protected them by keeping them in the dark about his plans to reach SANCTUARY.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Alex80

Most of the comments here are about the Japanese « justice » system.

Unfavorable comments about Ghosn in the West are because they do not know the Japanese « justice » and assume it is as or even fairer than in their own countries.

3 ( +10 / -7 )

An innocent person wouldn't flee the country before his trial

Inaccurate.

3 ( +11 / -8 )

Lebanon is in chaos now still searching for a new Prime Minister. Ghosn is now a candidate for the premiership. Once he becomes the PM, all his sins will be washed away and can travel back to Japan on diplomatic passport and as head of government.

OMG that would be hilarious if Lebanon made him their consular for Japan!

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Nice bounty for whomever can bring him back to Japan.

Want aware Japan issued bounties.

2 ( +9 / -7 )

Seems a little strange that he made his escape just before the new year.

The media has been watching Ghosn like a hawk. He just magically vanished under everyone's radar? Seems a little far-fetched.

This has been a thorny issue, and has damaged Japan's reputation internationally. The only way this could happen in Japan is if he was assisted by someone higher up. This was probably a way for Japan to save face.

2 ( +7 / -5 )

it is indeed a serious issue. he managed to escape an unfair, fake mock trial and will "hopefully" not keep mouth closed about the whole thing ... dear saikawa and his m8s better get ready.

2 ( +9 / -7 )

alwaysspeakingwisdomToday  07:09 pm JST

Lebanon has no extradition laws for its citizens so Ghosn is safe.

In the middle East? LOL.

Your country no extradition laws as well for it’s citizens.

In Japan LOL

2 ( +3 / -1 )

He fled like Snowden and will be protected like Polanski

2 ( +3 / -1 )

I think Nissan framed the dude.

The Japanese can not handle a Foreigner telling them what to do in their own country.

Nissan balked at the idea of more ownership by Renault.

Is it just a coincidence he being the only one charged?

And as for this being a serious issue?...,

if it was, the Japanese Authorities would have kept a better eye on him.

Japan's legal system reminds me of this overpass road they been building for the last 20 years-lol.

2 ( +8 / -6 )

Also, would be interested to know just how he managed to escape ? In other Countries there are investigative Journalists, though here in Japan - I've yet to see the efforts of any, should they even exist.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

As usual, the rich escape justice.

1 ( +10 / -9 )

There's a good BBC World Service radio documentary called 'Japan: Forced Confessions' from 2013. In it, they interview a man who spent 29 years in jail for a crime he didn't commit. The prosecutors were even going to take a copy of his fingerprints and place them at a crime scene if he didn't confess. Apparently, it's too embarassing for the police to admit when they're wrong so they have to push on with the conviction. You have to download the documentary: https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p02rrwxd. On a personal note, I wouldn't have run. Now everyone thinks he's guity and he'll probably have to stay in the Lebanon for life now.

1 ( +8 / -7 )

thank you for the cooperation of the lawyer, all my respect!

1 ( +3 / -2 )

In this column on the 21 January last year I wrote that as a criminal Barrister specialsing in bail applications I would on no account consider allowing this powerful rich Defendant any form of bail. Of course nobody listenened and as I predicted he fled to his relative lawless Lebanon, a country now in choas and without any rule of law. He or his advisors chose the destination well for the moment. My guess, at great expense, he gathered a "rescue" crew of foreigners who entered the country gradually not to arose suspicion. They selected a remote airfield or even suitable landing strip and a small light plane met the fugitive. It clearly evaded radar by flying low. It cost him "a bob or two" but a good job was done. As an other commentator wrote Ghosn now needs 24/7 protection as others will surely seek to "rescue" him.

0 ( +15 / -15 )

wonder how he managed to duck out?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Anyway, this man won't be judged in any way in Lebanon, this is the only thing that we know. But in these days Lebanon people are protesting against corruption, nepotism, rampant poverty. The law will protect him, but average people could not love him so much.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

Reuters are suggesting the jail break is face saving for everyone. 'Carlos Ghosn jailbreak is all-purpose face saver'

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-renault-nissan-breakingviews/breakingviews-carlos-ghosn-jailbreak-is-all-purpose-face-saver-idUSKBN1YZ099?f

0 ( +3 / -3 )

The whole affaire has been an International embarrassment to Japan's Legal system, now that he's gone I wonder if there are some who are hopeful that this will all be forgotten about ?

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Yes this will justify keeping any and all foreigners in detention until after trial for the next decades. Thanks a lot Ghosn.

-1 ( +14 / -15 )

I only see a millionaire with tons of passports and he chose the Country where he will be protected at 100%, how any millionaire would be. Your averay Joe must face his responsibilities, unlike the ones like him.

-1 ( +7 / -8 )

I wonder what is next in this saga, who is behind this escape? was it an inside job? if it was, it will be covered up thats for sure, who will get the blame for his "great escape" his lawyer? who was supposed to be watching him? I wonder how many people didn't sleep well over the last passed few nights? if it was a planned that light air craft would land in a field/runway, these light air craft don't have a massive range, so where did he go to get onto a jet that could carry him to Lebanon? which other country ( if any ) who also collaborated on his escape? oh boy I can't wait to see the next chapter in this saga.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Sorry, but someone can explain me why if he is innocent, American SEC has already fined Nissan and Ghosn for fraudulent misconduct?

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.nytimes.com/2019/09/23/business/sec-nissan-carlos-ghosn.amp.html

So basically only the Japanese company will pay the Americans. Basically, business as usual to milk Japanese companies...now it's clearer.

-2 ( +5 / -7 )

@Osaka_Doug: I don't know in which world and age you are living, but when it's about very powerful men, sadly it's difficult to get any kind of justice against them everywhere. If this was your average Joe, I could understand. But right now we aren't getting any kind of real justice for big executives and politicians everywhere, if they work for Boing or for a big Bank, no matter what but later they will always find the way to protect themselves. I repeat, if this was your average Joe I could understand. But I see only a millionaire that is using the same complaint of your average Joe to escape his responsibilities. He could find any other way, because the possibilities of the millionaires are infinite in any corner of the world.

-3 ( +7 / -10 )

Seems Carlos may have been using his time productively by watching tv dramas of A-team, MacGyver & smugglers... will be interesting to hear how it was done, especially if the rumors about hiding in a musical instrument box are true.

That said, I can’t wait until this criminal is brought to justice. What a selfish lying scum who cares nothing for others he has revealed himself to be. No, I don’t care about what he now has to say - his credibility has been destroyed.

Baffles me that there are still those who defend his actions and will inevitably’-‘ this post. Enjoy...

-3 ( +6 / -9 )

On the point of Carlo Ghosn being the only defendant because he is not Japanese, fairness forces me to point out that the same accusation can and has been laid at the feet of the United States in the Meng Wanzhou trial still being processed in Canada.

Of course, it is not necessarily true there is any impropriety - fine differences between the cases could well be the margin between some kind of pre-trial settlement, fines and criminal trials. Nevertheless the same is true in both cases - nationals one way or another escaped criminal prosecution while foreigners did not in superficially similar cases.

I don't want to bat a ball for the Chinese, but it's one or the other. If you think Meng Wanzhou cannot use the purported difference in judgment to ask for her release, the same should be true for Ghosn.

And we have to give this to Meng - she hasn't exploited her much looser bail conditions to flee, unlike Ghosn.

-3 ( +5 / -8 )

Reuters are suggesting the jail break is face saving for everyone

...except the Japanese government. They, all the way to the top would have lost face and be squirming right now and be devising a budget to bring Ghosn back.

How many country would let a celebrity lawyer argue for bail, and against all cultural and legal norms, the court granted bail, only for the suspect to flee. Eggs on faces.

IMHO, they now have to offer people like Academi/Blackwater more than what Ghisn is prepared to offer. I'm looking forward to the next episode too. Heads will roll in the Japanese judicial system for this.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

@Cricky: could you explain me why, if he is innocent, American SEC confirmed the accuses of Japanese prosecutors, fining him $ 1 million and Nissan $ 15 millions ?

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

@Chip Star: he could choose France though. Or he doesn't trust also French authorities?! I can assure you that France protects his citizens in international cases very well if there are the reasons to do it. The fact he chose the only Country where he won't be judged in any way tells a lot about him.

-4 ( +5 / -9 )

@Cricky: these conspiracy theories are really funny. Implying his incredible escape or whatever it is, isn't drawing also more attention.

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

@London_Boy: interesting, this shows BOTH Japan and France hypocrisy. And people who continue to congratulate with a millionaire who could be guilty but will be never judged as any ordinary human being, can continue congratulate him and say "justice has been done". Sure, for the millionaires is always this kind of "justice".

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

He must've had another passport somewhere.

Incompetence on somebody's part in not having it confiscated.

If somebody at the airport doesn't get in serious trouble, this was approved by the authorities.

-5 ( +4 / -9 )

He will escape the Japanese unfair legal system, and now he will be protected by Lebanon authorities no matter what, innocent or not, since according to what I read he is considered a national hero there. Yeah, people should be really happy that a millionaire won't be judged in any way, just because he is a millionaire.

-5 ( +7 / -12 )

@JJ Jetplane: Sorry but what you are saying is even more absurd. So, he is probably guilty (and according to what I said some misconduct looks rather blatant), but people are happy he won't be judged just because other Japanese supposed criminals weren't properly judged? If some foreign guy killed a person, you are glad he won't be judged just because some Japanese killer wasn't properly judged? This logic doesn't make any sense. You can protest Japanese legal system in a more properly way if you think it's unfair.

-5 ( +5 / -10 )

how any millionaire would do*

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

It seems lawyer Hironaka did not know anything about Ghosn's escape at all. Ghosn should fight in his trial. He may be acquitted about all charges against him. He has run away today. It means Ghosn admitted all wrongdoings he committed. And he planed whole escape operation. This is also criminal act.

-5 ( +6 / -11 )

This isn't something to be celebrated. Japan's justice system isn't going to change by "innocent" rich people fleeing the country. People like Ghosn have all the privileges of wealth that ordinary people don't have. Them fighting cases in court is the only way to get more transparency and better treatment of suspects.

As Carlos mentioned in his brief press announcement later today - He has "not fled justice — I have escaped injustice and political persecution." The larger issue is about confronting the legal system in Japan and he can only do this from afar unfortunately.

He isn't going to change anything. His supporters will continue to say he's a victim because he's not Japanese and foreigners are "always" treated poorly in Japan.

But 90+% of Japanese people (those who matter if you want to reform the legal system) will say "well, he's fled bail - so he was a crook after all", which is how people will usually react in most democracies. So if anything prosecutors and the courts will just double-down on how they treat people and be even less flexible in the future.

Don't forget, Ghosn didn't even wait to see what happened in the first trial - he was guaranteed further appeals, almost certainly whilst on bail. So what if the trial date hadn't formally been set? He had a comfortable house to live in. It's not like he was broken out of jail where he was about to die due to ill-treatment/neglect.

The fact that Ghosn has fled to a dodgy country like Lebanon where his money will protect him for the rest of his life speaks volumes. He could have travelled to France and handed himself over to the French authorities, who wouldn't have returned him to Japan (yet) as they wanted to prosecute him as well. That would have been in line with his story of only fleeing Japanese "injustice and persecution". Indeed, had he been aquitted in France there's a good chance he could have avoided extradition to Japan by convincing a judge he couldn't get a fair trial there.

But as I said, he chose to go to Lebanon to avoid prosecution by any country.

-5 ( +7 / -12 )

@sakurasuki: sorry but I just read this article about Ghosn (use Google translator if you want):

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.corriere.it/esteri/19_dicembre_31/ghosn-l-ex-ceo-renault-nissan-lascia-domiciliari-giappone-vola-libano-4e1c45b8-2b5d-11ea-9c71-d84241879234_amp.html

I don't know how some people can like this guy so much. I don't think this millionaire will get the same empathy here in Europe.

-7 ( +6 / -13 )

Lebanon has no extradition laws for its citizens so Ghosn is safe.

In the middle East? LOL.

-8 ( +2 / -10 )

Some people here could dislike Japanese legal system, but their passionate defence for this millionaire is incomprehensible. I just read an article in Italian press about him and he isn't considered "a hero" in any way. Maybe you guys should choose a better candidate to denounce the problems that you see in Japanese legal system.

-11 ( +12 / -23 )

An innocent person wouldn't flee the country before his trial

-15 ( +11 / -26 )

Nice bounty for whomever can bring him back to Japan.

-25 ( +9 / -34 )

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