crime

Ghosn's escape prompts talk of more curbs in Japan's strict justice system

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By Linda Sieg

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Japan should consider what Ghosn had to do in order to get a "fair trial". His legal team was not even allowed to see the evidence against him.

32 ( +39 / -7 )

No more bail for gaijin.

It's a comin.

11 ( +17 / -6 )

Never mind the "hostage justice system" that's being spoken about --why was a person facing such serious charges allowed bail when it was reasonable to assume that he would flee if the opportunity arose. The system is too lax--not too strict.

-30 ( +8 / -38 )

I do not hear Japanese people complain about their Justice Systems while a lot of critical opinions by foreigners here. Why?

-5 ( +14 / -19 )

"Carlos Ghosn’s daring flight from Japan, where he was awaiting trial on charges of financial wrongdoing, has revived global criticism of the nation’s “hostage justice,” but in Japan is prompting talk of reversing more lenient curbs on defendants."

OMG. There is no justice in the west.

-13 ( +3 / -16 )

West doesn't represent global.

-9 ( +5 / -14 )

vanityofvanitiesToday  07:21 am JST

“I do not hear Japanese people complain about their Justice Systems while a lot of critical opinions by foreigners here. Why?“

Perhaps you aren’t listening or reading. For instance this from this very article:

”Japanese civil rights groups and the main bar lawyers association have long criticized a system that convicts 99.9% of criminal defendants. They say it gives too much power to prosecutors, who can detain suspects for long periods before indictment, and relies too much on confessions, some later found to have been forced and false.”

24 ( +26 / -2 )

He had 0 % chance of a "fair" trial in Japan. Does anyone think he could have had a fair trial?

19 ( +27 / -8 )

Why not use ankle trackers. Keeping people locked up awaiting trial is medieval and inhumane as well as expensive (our tax yen).

14 ( +16 / -2 )

This story of Carlos Ghosn's escape is getting an unbelievable amount of press, but the part of the story that deserves more reporting are credibility of the allegations against him and the functioning of the Japanese criminal justice system. Reporting suggests that 99 percent of defendants in Japan are found guilty, which is not the hallmark of a fair judiciary, nor are interrogations at all hours or keeping a defendant from speaking with his wife. One is more incredulous when Japanese executives are routinely not charged over more serious and more factually based charges. Given that, I really don't care how Ghosn fled Japan or Japanese embarrassment.

20 ( +24 / -4 )

“This case raises the extremely serious issue of whether it’s all right to continue the trend toward bail leniency,” said former prosecutor Yasuyuki Takai.

And this will be the natural reaction of the prosecutors. People such as Takai. And understandably so. The inevitable "See, we told you so" argument will be used to justify denying bail to foreigners in the future.

However, the real problem is not the bail system or whether bail is / is not granted.

Japanese civil rights groups and the main bar lawyers association have long criticized a system that convicts 99.9% of criminal defendants. They say it gives too much power to prosecutors, who can detain suspects for long periods before indictment, and relies too much on confessions, some later found to have been forced and false.

THIS is the real problem. If the checks and balances in place for suspects / defendants were fair and protected suspects rights, particularly during a lengthy detention, then denying bail in high risk cases becomes more palatable

However, there are, fundamentally, 3 key problems with system, ones that allow prosecutors / police to abuse prisoners and coerce confessions:

-- Suspects / defendants can be interrogated as long and at whatever schedule the prosecutors / police determine.

-- Video recordings of interrogations are PROHIBITED.

-- Defense lawyers are PROHIBITED from being in interrogations.

And the prosecutors have vigorously fought any attempts to change these deficiencies. Because, of course, this helps them "win".

Prosecutors do not care about justice. They care about "winning".

So, rest assured, the prosecutors will use Ghosn's escape any way they can to help them gain more power over suspects. So they are able to "win" cases.

.

22 ( +24 / -2 )

To:vanityofvanities. I do not hear Japanese people complain about their Justice Systems while a lot of critical opinions by foreigners here. Why?

Why? Offering an opinion first requires understanding of the issue.

23 ( +23 / -0 )

Can't wait to finally hear Carlos' side of the story.

21 ( +22 / -1 )

more curbs in Japan's strict justice system

Bullies in the playground say this after they get embarrassed. It is just an emotional response. I agree with the comment from Stephen Givens - it is more of a political reaction to satisfy the Japan's political right.

12 ( +14 / -2 )

Prosecutors want more power? Can arrest, detain you for years, while they then seach for evidence of criminal activity. Interrogate you at will with no lawyer and no recordings made. Threaten family, denied or limited access contact with defence team who arnt told of the evidence againt their client. Have unnamed sources leak unsubstantiated rumours to the press. And then put you on trail where the chance of proving innocence is 0.1%. And if you don't give a confession that is seen as a sign of guit by the court. And they want more power?

22 ( +23 / -1 )

Ghosn plane landed at 1016 am Jst, from Dubai at Kansai, took off at 1110 PM Just to Turkey Google TSTCR Owner

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The Japanese people asked about their criminal justice system are not the ones who would complain. Expectations are different in the sense that Japanese may feel that the police wouldn't target them unless there was a good reason.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Educator60Today 07:39 am JST

main bar lawyers association have long criticized a system that convicts 99.9% of criminal defendants

There is a clear conflict of interest here, don't you think? People complain the prosecutors, but they never complain about the defense lawyers.

@kurisupisuToday 08:11 am JST

The possibility that they recognize that blowouts happen at a statistical rate in any system and is not a cause of panic did not occur to you.

@zones2surfToday 08:02 am JST

THIS is the real problem. If the checks and balances in place for suspects / defendants were fair and protected suspects rights, particularly during a lengthy detention, then denying bail in high risk cases becomes more palatable

What? This makes no sense. The most important thing for denying bail is the flight risk of the suspect. You'll have to name a system that allows bail in the knowledge that Accused is a flight risk.

Suspects / defendants can be interrogated as long and at whatever schedule the prosecutors / police determine.

Actually, these days (since Heisei 20) they can not be interrogated during the usual sleeping times, and the time limit is 8 hours a day. For a maximum of 23 days. Sure, they can stitch two crimes together but that would require the facts to support it. For example, disposal of dead body may be followed by the homicide charge, but not by theft. Ghosn just makes it easy because he has done so much.

Video recordings of interrogations are PROHIBITED.

That's slowly changing, but if we are honest with ourselves the prosecutors and interrogators have a point. Once everyone is on videotape, a lot of "hardball" tactics are clearly out, but so are a lot of softball tactics. Yes, I've read of Western studies claiming there is no effect, but that's just so far out of normal understanding one must wonder what standards they used. In reality, very few people act the same way once they know they are under camera surveillance and that every word they say is being recorded. So to insist on a recording is also to degrade the effectiveness of the interrogation.

Defense lawyers are PROHIBITED from being in interrogations.

Now you are really trading off the effectiveness of the interrogation. Once the lawyer is in the room, he will block off all useful answers. One reason interrogation periods are so short in Western countries is that ... well, what's the point ... the lawyer blocks everything anyway. That interrogation is just a formality.

And once interrogations are as a rule INEFFECTIVE, so is any real indicator of the mens rea (subjective side) of the crime, since we cannot read minds. Sure, occasionally a criminal would be stupid enough to shout his intent where someone can hear him, but otherwise we won't get a hint.

This means that you have to allow for Plea Bargaining (the act of deliberately threatening exaggerated charges to extort some kind of guilty plea from the Accused), inferences from objective hints (used a knife? you intended to kiil him) and the punishments in substantive law would go up to compensate for the losses (why do you think the homicide charges in common law countries are so large - one reason is that they might have to settle for a manslaughter conviction instead of one for murder, and they want to make sure it is still a hefty punishment in that case).

One can argue this is penny-wise (in stopping the relatively rare cases of malpractice) and pound-foolish, even from a Suspect Rights perspective.

-15 ( +1 / -16 )

Zones2surf,

Your information is outdated. Have you mistakenly bought into the oft-repeated phrase “Japan never changes”?

“Suspects / defendants can be interrogated as long and at whatever schedule the prosecutors / police determine.”

Not true for more than a decade.

Video recordings of interrogations are PROHIBITED.”

As of June 2019, Japanese police and prosecutors are REQUIRED to record the entire interrogation process in cases subject to lay judge trials, including cases of murder and robbery resulting in death, as well as cases investigated by special prosecutor squads, which often deal with corporate crimes and corruption.

Invalid CSRF

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Right - when the law is already too strict, double down. It's the Japanese way.

10 ( +11 / -1 )

“This case raises the extremely serious issue of whether it’s all right to continue the trend toward bail leniency,” said former prosecutor Yasuyuki Takai.

“The legal profession and lawmakers need to quickly consider new legal measures or a system to prevent such escapes,” Takai, who was formerly with the special investigation unit of the prosecutor’s office, told public broadcaster NHK.

“Until the way to achieving this is in sight, we should carefully consider temporarily halting this trend toward bail leniency.”

No wonder to his comment since he is and ex prosecutors. Ghosn second trial is set to be April 2021, even if he is lucky enough to still out from detention, he need to continue his current lifestyle, he can not see his wife and live under constant surveillance and house arrest.

There are lot of worry from prosecution regarding evidence tampering while suspect no detained but so far only the one that caught being tampering evidence only prosecutor to achieve his success rate.

https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2011/04/13/national/prosecutor-who-cheated-gets-1-12-years/

Being in release on bail in Japan can be really helpful like Marc Cavazos'. Finally he can prove himself innocent while he's out from detention. So not all bail will end up like Ghosn's case. Being out from detention can help to build good defense case and free from constant coerce confession.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

No more bail for gaijin.

It's a comin.

Oh, you know it is and with a vengeance.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

As of June 2019, Japanese police and prosecutors are REQUIRED to record the entire interrogation process in cases subject to lay judge trials, including cases of murder and robbery resulting in death, as well as cases investigated by special prosecutor squads, which often deal with corporate crimes and corruption.

Still not all of cases only certain cases.

https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2019/06/01/national/crime-legal/recording-interrogations-serious-cases-becomes-mandatory-japan/

4 ( +4 / -0 )

I think the reason why so many foreigners 'support' Ghosn is because while he is being detained and kept under house arrest, all the other Japanese CEO's get away with the same, if not worse acts criminality. They simply bow in-front of the media and that is the end of it. I bet, if Ghosn was given the chance to do that in the beginning, he would have. Whether Ghosn is guilty or not, the blatant show of discrimination is simply too difficult to ignore for most.

23 ( +23 / -0 )

Sakurasuki, “Still not all of cases only certain cases.”

Yes, as I clearly stated, it is required in lay judge trial cases. That doesn’t change the fact that zones2surf posted incorrect information.

Invalid CSRF

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@Cameron Lett

I think the reason why so many foreigners 'support' Ghosn is because while he is being detained and kept under house arrest, all the other Japanese CEO's get away with the same, if not worse acts criminality. They simply bow in-front of the media and that is the end of it. I bet, if Ghosn was given the chance to do that in the beginning, he would have. Whether Ghosn is guilty or not, the blatant show of discrimination is simply too difficult to ignore for most.

Your claims are completely bogus. Japanese executives (and politicians) have been held far longer than Ghosn was before trial and some have served additional jail time. The record for a Japanese being held by Japanese police before trial is on the order of three years.

-10 ( +2 / -12 )

There is a clear conflict of interest here, don't you think? People complain the prosecutors, but they never complain about the defense lawyers.

Because prosecutors have power to detain people, while building case and while waiting for trial a suspect can be in detention all that time. Beside that they have pressure to have success rate, some of them them like Tsunehiko Maeda they will tamper with evidence to achieve this success rate.

For a maximum of 23 days. Sure, they can stitch two crimes together but that would require the facts to support it.

"Stitch" so they can get 46 days, even if it's 8 hours a day outside sleeping time. They can do that starting from 6AM to 2PM everyday for 46 days. That's not normal interrogation unless you want to get coerced confession.

Now you are really trading off the effectiveness of the interrogation. Once the lawyer is in the room, he will block off all useful answers.

Please check out stories from people who already being detained some of them of course innocent. Lot of them experience being yelled from the back of their head almost everyday.

This means that you have to allow for Plea Bargaining

Allow? Plea bargain is the goal. You should check Shinichi Nakayama's case among other cases.

https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2007/10/20/national/lawsuit-filed-over-false-03-kagoshima-election-violation-charges

5 ( +5 / -0 )

I think the reason why so many foreigners 'support' Ghosn is because while he is being detained and kept under house arrest, all the other Japanese CEO's get away with the same, if not worse acts criminality.

Not only that, most of Japanese media they keep relaying one sided controlled leak while ignoring facts that his treatment is really different from other Japanese corporate executives that involved in scandals.

10 ( +11 / -1 )

I do not hear Japanese people complain about their Justice Systems while a lot of critical opinions by foreigners here. Why?

The answer is because the media and the government tell the people what to think.

16 ( +16 / -0 )

For those who don’t understand why Ghosn (or any defendant) should be entitled to an attorney during interrogations, the answer is simple - because the defendant has rights. The defendant’s attorney who is well versed in the law knows what prosecutors can and cannot ask a defendant- because the nature of questioning could, itself, presume guilt. The defendant’s attorney also serves as a balance of power to the prosecutor that prevents forced confessions or other forms or self-incrimination.

If you believe that everyone who is detained is probably guilty, then you would consider the defendant’s attorney as someone obstructing the interrogation. But if you truly believe a person is innocent until proven guilty, then you would consider the defendant’s attorney necessary during interrogations.

19 ( +19 / -0 )

@Kazuaki Shimazaki,

What? This makes no sense. The most important thing for denying bail is the flight risk of the suspect. You'll have to name a system that allows bail in the knowledge that Accused is a flight risk.

Of course denying bail if the suspect is a flight risk is not unusual in other countries. You missed my point. What I was trying to say is that if the detention conditions and its impact on a suspect (who is innocent until proven guilty) border on the inhumane, and you can argue that is the case in Japan. then the pressure for allowing defendants out on bail increases. That was part of the argument made in Ghosn's case. Remember how much weight he had lost??

Also, in terms of defendants out on bail, there are other mechanisms that can be used to limit a suspect's movements, other than just seizing their passport. Most importantly, wearing ankle bracelets. Which are extremely common in the U.S., for example. Japan has not considered them. Why?? Because if you put such a system in place, it reduces the arguments that prosecutors can make against bail. So the prosecutors HATE the idea of ankle bracelets.

Actually, these days (since Heisei 20) they can not be interrogated during the usual sleeping times, and the time limit is 8 hours a day. For a maximum of 23 days. Sure, they can stitch two crimes together but that would require the facts to support it. For example, disposal of dead body may be followed by the homicide charge, but not by theft. Ghosn just makes it easy because he has done so much.

Yes, I know this. I wasn't meaning literally 24 hours a day or in the middle of the night.

8 hrs / day for 23 days. Per charge. At whatever schedule the prosecutor wants (within the daytime, 8 hour constraints). They can come and do 8 hours straight. Or they can come, do 2 hours, say they are done, then come back an hour later and do 6 hours.

They can do this for 23 days. And the suspect is alone. With no one else there. And they can do it for another 23 days for another charge. Which they did with Ghosn.

Without a lawyer present? This designed to do one thing. Coerce the suspect into confessing. Period.

That's slowly changing, but if we are honest with ourselves the prosecutors and interrogators have a point. Once everyone is on videotape, a lot of "hardball" tactics are clearly out, but so are a lot of softball tactics. Yes, I've read of Western studies claiming there is no effect, but that's just so far out of normal understanding one must wonder what standards they used. In reality, very few people act the same way once they know they are under camera surveillance and that every word they say is being recorded. So to insist on a recording is also to degrade the effectiveness of the interrogation.

Ahh, yes, the effectiveness of the interrogation. You would love being a prosecutor. Now, what if you were a defendant, innocent of the charges, but the prosecutor was convinced you were guilty. And you had no lawyer present. And the knowledge that there is no recording of the interrogation. THAT prosecutor could do /say ANYTHING they wanted to and you would know that no one would know if they denied it later. So, shall we just allow waterboarding to, while we are at it. To enhance the effectiveness of the interrogation??

Now you are really trading off the effectiveness of the interrogation. Once the lawyer is in the room, he will block off all useful answers. One reason interrogation periods are so short in Western countries is that ... well, what's the point ... the lawyer blocks everything anyway. That interrogation is just a formality.

And once interrogations are as a rule INEFFECTIVE, so is any real indicator of the mens rea (subjective side) of the crime, since we cannot read minds. Sure, occasionally a criminal would be stupid enough to shout his intent where someone can hear him, but otherwise we won't get a hint.

And NOW we get to the crux of the issue. You just made the point of everyone who says the Japanese system is set up for abuse.

So having a lawyer present will......surprise, surprise..... result in fewer interrogations leading to confessions!!

Well, gee, golly. Given that a defendant should be innocent until proven guilty, isn't incumbent on the prosecutor to prove guilt, not just interrogate it out of a suspect?! GASP! That would mean they would ahve to piece together a case using, GASP, evidence!! Not just a confession!

"Confessions" make it easy for prosecutors and police. They don't have to really do their jobs. They just beat a confession out of the defendant. Case closed. And that is EXACTLY what has happened.

@Eductator60,

Suspects / defendants can be interrogated as long and at whatever schedule the prosecutors / police determine.”

Not true for more than a decade.

See comments above.

Video recordings of interrogations are PROHIBITED.”

As of June 2019, Japanese police and prosecutors are REQUIRED to record the entire interrogation process in cases subject to lay judge trials, including cases of murder and robbery resulting in death, as well as cases investigated by special prosecutor squads, which often deal with corporate crimes and corruption.

Yes, well aware of the above. That just went into place 6 months ago, AFTER Ghosn was arrested and detained. The prosecutors did say his interrogations were recorded.

However, if my understanding of the law is correct, it doesn't specify VIDEO recordings. Correct me if I am wrong. And there is a huge difference between audio recordings and video recordings.

Beyond that, it only applies to a subset of cases. I think it is 5% or less.

12 ( +13 / -1 )

Until now, there has been little discussion about "Japan's strict justice system".

Because the accused did not have the opportunity to ask the public about it.

It might be a good opportunity for discussion.

10 ( +10 / -0 )

It turned out that Japan was right after all in holding him without bail in the beginning.

-16 ( +0 / -16 )

Educator60Today  07:39 am JST vanityofvanitiesToday  07:21 am JST

“I do not hear Japanese people complain about their Justice Systems while a lot of critical opinions by foreigners here. Why?“ Japanese refer to their legal system as CHABAN a farce.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

I do not hear Japanese people complain about their Justice Systems while a lot of critical opinions by foreigners here. Why?

Complacency, aided by a supine media and citizens who have learned (and been taught) from childhood not to question the infallibility of authority: the government, the courts, the police, the prison system. Many Japanese are completely unaware of what detention in Japan involves. Many also prefer to assume that it happens only to criminals, who deserve whatever happens to them.

Innocent Japanese do get arrested here, and that's about the point where they and their families develop social awareness. While people like you continue not knowing and not wanting to know.

13 ( +14 / -1 )

So Japan's solution is: Let's be even more draconian and corrupt. Typical, so typical.

10 ( +10 / -0 )

The 99.9% conviction rate of Japan's judicial system has been overstated by many.

The high rate is not because of what the usual crowd out there would have you believe, that people arrested and held are beaten, starved, and tortured until they plead guilty. That's their twisted notion of how Japan's justice system works. The high rate is because Japanese prosecutors only pursue cases that have a high probability of leading to a guilty verdict and conviction.

I'm certainly not saying the Japanese judicial system is perfect, but for the usual crowd out there using this opportunity to engage in their blood lust against all things Japanese, you all should ensure the affairs of your own country are in order before casting judgement on others. After all, none of you would appreciate it if even one Japanese person criticized aspects of your nation.

-15 ( +2 / -17 )

99.9% conviction rate is nothing to be proud of, it shows either the prosecutor goes after easy to win cases (and lets many difficult crimes go unpunished because it is hard) or arrests people to tick a box.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Zones2surf hits it spot on... the fundamental problem with Japan’s legal system is the widespread belief, even among its legal experts, that anyone detained is guilty of something. All Japanese legal processes follow from this singular belief. And this belief is largely rooted in tradition, where authority figures are all powerful and can decide your fate unilaterally. Japan evolved with a lack of objective legal frameworks. What it adopted from the West are merely overlays places atop non-objective traditions.

Japan largely supports a dominant prosecution, because Japan is not truly after justice. It is after anyone who disturbs the perceived harmony of the Japanese culture - guilty or not.

13 ( +14 / -1 )

The high rate is because Japanese prosecutors only pursue cases that have a high probability of leading to a guilty verdict and conviction.

The flip side of that is rapists, murderers, con men, thieves don't get prosecuted because the woeful investigative, procedural ability of police and the prosecutors focus on getting a win, even making up evidence lying.

Carlos is an international figure a multi million man. Prosecutors should have done due diligence, actually had more evidence other than a dubious report from Nissan executives. They didn't think it through. It's not often a man of such high esteem is arrested on such a flimsy accusations. His refusal to admit anything collapsed the prosecutors case leaving them no option but to curtail any comefort from family or friends in the vain hope he would eventually crack before 2021. He had the means to flee and good for him sadly most don't and they will suffer more medieval justice.

Prosecutors rally hadn't thought this through.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

99.9% conviction rate is nothing to be proud of, it shows either the prosecutor goes after easy to win cases (and lets many difficult crimes go unpunished because it is hard) or arrests people to tick a box.

A more detailed look at the Japanese Judicial System

https://www.nippon.com/en/japan-topics/c05401/order-in-the-court-explaining-japan’s-99-9-conviction-rate.html

One critical issue is that judges are not doing so. Whether sitting in a summary court or on the grand bench, judges are expected to follow the ironclad rule that a defendant is innocent until proven guilty. All too frequently, though, court rulings ignore this fundamental principle.

There are of course many on the bench who are capable of hearing cases with an unbiased ear, but they are in the minority.

The prosecution has too much authority and the defense has too little. This would not be the situation if Japan had a bona fide adversarial system, but the fact of the matter is that the balance of power in Japanese courts is skewed.

In any legal system the state has an advantage of power. This is why countries like the United States with adversarial judicial models have measures such as exclusionary rules built into the legal framework to protect the rights of the accused.

Japan has been deficient on this point. The prosecution exerts its authority to the detriment of the defense, and this imbalance has been allowed to become the status quo. This and the other issues I mentioned previously are what have produced Japan’s 99.9 percent conviction rate.

The simple answer is that prosecuting attorneys have broad discretion to suspend suits, even when there is substantial evidence, and only pursue cases that are certain to end in indictment. The reason that some 60 percent of cases are deferred is because public prosecutors are overly concerned about losing a case and tarnishing their reputation.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

I think even the average Japanese who might be proud of the judicial system doesn’t know all the underlying pitfalls, false image and misery it inflicts on thousands of people in this country day after day.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

This and the other issues I mentioned previously are what have produced Japan’s 99.9 percent conviction rate.

... and yet, Japan has a relatively low crime rate (15 times lower than USA) and even lower incarceration rate (16 times lower than USA).

0 ( +3 / -3 )

The high rate is not because of what the usual crowd out there would have you believe, that people arrested and held are beaten, starved, and tortured until they plead guilty. That's their twisted notion of how Japan's justice system works. The high rate is because Japanese prosecutors only pursue cases that have a high probability of leading to a guilty verdict and conviction.

It's not necessarily physical torture. It can be psychological manipulation or mental torture on daily basis can easily deteriorate your mental state or lead you to believe that you are guilty. 23 days? Less than time, lot of people can break already.

Even in cases where they are not have a chance they could win they will do things to increase their winning change. On of them is tampering with evidence, like Tsunehiko Maeda. In other case they can witheld evidence where can help innocent person like Toshikazu Sugaya's case.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

The hostage "justice" system is true villain in the story.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

Japanese people are going to support clamping down even harder because the media hide how bad it is. Abe will play on the jingoism that can be whipped up and get citizens to sign their civil rights away instead of going for the reforms that are needed...

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Disgusting Japan Justice System!

One of the downsides of Japan that is getting bigger hate from me.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

I feel this will not change anything in Japan and probably won't roll any heads here too. Changing something is like accepting some part of the blame. Instead, why not blame everything on foreigners and foreign companies. Saves a lot of trouble.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

The high rate is because Japanese prosecutors only pursue cases that have a high probability of leading to a guilty verdict and conviction.

That's probably true, but..

When I was held for 3 weeks, I was not charged, so the prosecutors did not "lose". However, I lost my job.

They held me and badgered me for a false confession, which I did not give. Interrogations took place basically during "business hours" but in my case never for more than 4 hours in a single day, and never on the weekend.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

We have juries made up of citizens, who judge the guilt or innocent of criminal, it not a perfect, innocent people are convicted everyday by juries

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

@HJSLLS Japan largely supports a dominant prosecution, because Japan is not truly after justice.

Well said! The excuse of the court in Japan is that they are always following the "rules" however if you examine the decisions, they rarely explain which rules they are following.

I can see a boycott of the Olympics coming over this.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

In reality, very few people act the same way once they know they are under camera surveillance and that every word they say is being recorded

You've unwittingly made the case for videoing interrogations.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

@zones2surfToday 10:23 am JST

Of course denying bail if the suspect is a flight risk is not unusual in other countries. You missed my point. What I was trying to say is that if the detention conditions and its impact on a suspect (who is innocent until proven guilty) border on the inhumane, and you can argue that is the case in Japan. then the pressure for allowing defendants out on bail increases. That was part of the argument made in Ghosn's case. Remember how much weight he had lost??

Not at the cost of letting them escape, I presume.

As for Ghosn's lost weight, we can see he apparently lost weight, but not the reasons. Now that we know what a good liar he is, he might well have deliberately chosen to not eat so he'll look more pitiable.

Most importantly, wearing ankle bracelets.

Considering the level of assistance Ghosn is apparently able of mobilizing, how hard do you think it'll be to defeat such a measure, say by picking the lock and/or deliberately jamming the signal ... etc ... especially since he offered to pay for it himself :-)

They can do this for 23 days. And the suspect is alone. With no one else there. And they can do it for another 23 days for another charge. Which they did with Ghosn.

You know what? In Germany, they won't have had to do this, or not as frequently. They can just use the first charge and ask the judge to detention him for 180 days. I don't mean post-indictment/pretrial detention, I mean preindictment detention.

It can also be put together by having lower standards for the indictment - all countries have post indictment, pretrial detention.

Given that a defendant should be innocent until proven guilty, isn't incumbent on the prosecutor to prove guilt, not just interrogate it out of a suspect?! GASP! That would mean they would ahve to piece together a case using, GASP, evidence!! Not just a confession!

Let me explain the practicalities of this idea one more time. Do you remember the substantive criminal law requirement that in addition to the objective element (actus rea), the mental element (mens rea) also has to be proved? Unfortunately, we can't read minds. The best any evidence can do is piece together the objective side. You can see where the shortfall of that fine idea is.

So we are left with some options. First, we can allow effective interrogations that have a reasonable chance of getting the mens rea element from the prisoner. Second, if you don't allow this, we can:

a) Threaten the accused with a deliberately overexaggerated charge and associated sentence in hopes he will cut his losses and agree to something. This is also coercion. Is it not coercion because this is the way things are done in the United States?

b) have the court allow inferences. That means the effective death of mens rea and turning all crimes into strict liability. That also actually reduces the accused's real rights and eases the work of the prosecutor. Is that somehow acceptable because it is that way in the United States?

c) have massive substantive punishments. If you know you can never prove the mens rea of first degree murder to the judges' satisfaction, you can bypass the problem by legislatively increasing the penalty of manslaughter to life imprisonment too! Have you noticed how long the sentences are in the United States? That also actually kills the accused's rights. But again you don't mind, right?

It is one thing to fight for the defendant's rights, another thing to be blind to the second and third order side effects.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

I do not hear Japanese people complain about their Justice Systems while a lot of critical opinions by foreigners here. Why?

If you have to ask, then you don't understand what this is all about!

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Ghosn's escape prompts talk of more curbs in Japan's strict justice system

Talk by whom. Prosecutors of course. Such talk is an example of "the Japanese sulk".

Right now, prosecutors are fallen narcissists. And as most experienced people know, narcissists just never, ever "get it".

2 ( +3 / -1 )

It will be tough for foreign people but not the Japanese. Look at the Japan post scam. Has anyone been arrested yet? NOPE!

8 ( +9 / -1 )

The system is too lax--not too strict.

oh ok so we should let the prosecutors keep people in detention/imprisoned indefinitely until they confess, what happens if the accused are actually innocent do we just keep them there until they confess!?

Prosecutors do and have made many mistakes in the past and people have spent years in jail for crimes they didn't commit, so we should basically give them even more power to get those convictions regardless whether people are innocent of not!

Just pray that your or any of you family doesnt fall prey to hostage justice in japan, im guessing your views will change very quickly

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Now that we know what a good liar he is, he might well have deliberately chosen to not eat so he'll look more pitiable.

Wow, that's just waco conspiracy theory grade. Basically people are going to paint others are they want, like yourself painting Ghosn as some criminal mastermind or something like that.

The truth of the matter is that in this case the character of the persons involved is irrelevant. The fact that there were very clear violations of basic human rights is the real matter.

I don't know if you are aware, but even the worst kind of people deserve basic human rights.

They can just use the first charge and ask the judge to detention him for 180 days. I don't mean post-indictment/pretrial detention, I mean preindictment detention.

It can also be put together by having lower standards for the indictment - all countries have post indictment, pretrial detention.

And the terms of those things are VERY different.

They aren't allowed to put the suspect into an interrogation room in order to force a confession for 12 hours straight without they lawyer being present.

That is basically torture, but if you just think that torture is an OK, there you go.

Have you noticed how long the sentences are in the United States

And that's also wrong, so what?

Because America does something bad, that give Japan the clear to do even worse?

One of the biggest differences with the American Legal system is that even thou there are still injustices at all levels of the system, there are actual ways to fight, and you have a chance to go against the system.

In Japan... not so much. The Judiciary is completely in bed with the executive, there is very clear intensives to just get convictions at any cost. I mean, even in the few cases that have proved very clearly that there was entrapment, that the confession was forced and the real perpetrator comes to light, or something like that, no one goes to jail for that, nor the police, nor the prosecutors, nor anyone.

Many times they don't even get an apology.

And also the horrible part of this case, is that this is so obvious a coordinated attack from people within Nissan with influence in the Japanese Government. I mean, the way he was set-up by Nissan calling him to Japan, just to get detained at the airport. The way prosecutors do not even try to find something about Saikawa even thou there is pretty good evidence that he also committed some sort of financial crime.

The fact that Ghosn just continued to get indicted for supposedly crimes that happened decades ago, without much evidence or relevance to his previous indictments.

And the fact that Japan has done similar things in the past, like the take down of Horiemon.

But yeah, lets just talk in legalistic babble about Ghosn crimes avoiding everything I just talked about.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

In short, Japan may think it respects human rights but those rights aren’t necessarily extended to suspects and criminals. Humans rights aren’t treated as basic rights but privileges that be taken away.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

It will be tough for foreign people but not the Japanese. Look at the Japan post scam. Has anyone been arrested yet? NOPE!

I don't like this narrative that somehow Japanese get a free pass, because that's just not true, there are more cases of Japanese having their human rights completely violated by the "justice" system of Japan.

The people who get a free pass are the well connected with the Japanese Government.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

It will be tough for foreign people but not the Japanese. Look at the Japan post scam. Has anyone been arrested yet? NOPE!

I don't like this narrative that somehow Japanese get a free pass, because that's just not true, there are more cases of Japanese having their human rights completely violated by the "justice" system of Japan.

The people who get a free pass are the well connected with the Japanese Government.

Look at the way Saikawa was treated and look at the way Ghosn was treated.

It speaks for itself.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Luis David YanezToday 03:18 pm JST

The fact that there were very clear violations of basic human rights is the real matter.

Next time, try being concrete about exact which human rights were violated.

They aren't allowed to put the suspect into an interrogation room in order to force a confession for 12 hours straight without they lawyer being present.

Hahahahahahahahahahahaha! Stand by for reality:

Can I talk to a lawyer?

As a suspect you may speak with a defence lawyer alone or in the presence of an interpreter. If you are questioned by the public prosecutor or a judge, you may have a defence lawyer present, but not if you are questioned by the police.

https://e-justice.europa.eu/content_rights_of_defendants_in_criminalproceedings-169-DE-maximizeMS-en.do?clang=en&idSubpage=3

Guess where most interrogations are held.

As for the length of the interrogation, I don't have numerical information on hand. However, the key factor would clearly be how fatigued you are, and their courts have rolled with 24 hours without sleep (not 30, though) and have accepted the need for "long" interrogations.

The Judiciary is completely in bed with the executive,

In my experience, such statements are made by people with weak legal education that have swallowed the complaints of "human rights lawyers" whole, without suspecting them of bias, ever reading the judgments themselves, or understanding the legal principles used.

no one goes to jail for that, nor the police, nor the prosecutors, nor anyone.

While it is rare, one would be hard pressed to quickly recall someone that was actually imprisoned elsewhere. The example of Tsunehiko Maeda has been brought up. He was imprisoned:

https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=2ahUKEwjysaTWg-fmAhVrJaYKHTgZC3kQFjAAegQIAhAB&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.japantimes.co.jp%2Fnews%2F2011%2F04%2F13%2Fnational%2Fprosecutor-who-cheated-gets-1-12-years%2F&usg=AOvVaw15pcsd9WdSM281H9-dy0UZ

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Japan is learning all the wrong lessons from Ghosn's escape and missing the right and important lessons to learn. Instead of using this to review its much criticized hostage justice system and implementing some reforms to bring it in line with international standards befitting a 21st Century developed democracy, they are talking about halting some stupid thing called "bail leniency for foreigners" whatever that means. Everyone knows there is nothing like bail leniency. Ghosn fled because he was convinced he would not receive a fair trial. You can't fault him for that. The Japanese INjustice system rampantly flouts international conventions that Japan has signed and is part of. It is inhumane, it is discriminatory, it is unjust. It needs TOTAL overhaul. It makes you wonder just how competent are Japanese prosecutors? A system that is dependent on forced confessions to derive a 99.9% conviction rate. How ridiculous. The presumption of innocence until proven otherwise by a competent court of jurisdiction is a fundamental principle in law. It is NEVER the other way round. And every suspect has and entitled to the protection of his fundamental human rights. He has the right to remain silent or be interrogated in the presence of his attorney. Evidence obtained through forced confessions are and must be thrown out by any competent court.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

It can also be put together by having lower standards for the indictment - all countries have post indictment, pretrial detention.

Yes other countries have pre-trial but in Japan that can be long Japan it will lead to coerced confession. You want to preserve justice or just to put people in jail?

Do you remember the substantive criminal law requirement that in addition to the objective element (actus rea), the mental element (mens rea) also has to be proved? Unfortunately, we can't read minds

We can't read mind but that doesn't mean that justice system should put confession inside mind of innocent people.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Where is the Justice in holding hostage until forcing a confession ? Sounds something like Cypriatic Justice, not worthy of a First World Nation, though perhaps Japan would prefer to become more isolated and find its own extradition treaties with other Countries being torn up ?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Next time, try being concrete about exact which human rights were violated.

Articles 5, 7, 8, 11, 13 and 16 of the universal declaration of human rights.

By the way, running to another country to avoid prosecution is also a Human Right by the universal declaration of human rights (Article 14).

https://e-justice.europa.eu/content_rights_of_defendants_in_criminalproceedings-169-DE-maximizeMS-en.do?clang=en&idSubpage=3

Guess where most interrogations are held.

As for the length of the interrogation, I don't have numerical information on hand. However, the key factor would clearly be how fatigued you are, and their courts have rolled with 24 hours without sleep (not 30, though) and have accepted the need for "long" interrogations.

Yep, legalistic bable.

I would like to see how common in Germany are over 12 hours sessions for suspects that have not even been charged with a crime, without any contact with the outside world for months, and where in the sessions police constantly ignores what the suspect says just to get a confession as they already planed, and try to entrap suspects into signing a confession they didn't even said just to "get out of this".

And even if it was common in Germany, it is still a violation of human rights, and not a reason to say it is ok.

In my experience, such statements are made by people with weak legal education that have swallowed the complaints of "human rights lawyers" whole, without suspecting them of bias, ever reading the judgments themselves, or understanding the legal principles used.

Do you know the history of the Ministry of Justice, and how the Judiciary was before the war a branch of the Ministry of Justice, and even thou this relation has legally disappeared between the courts and the Ministry of Justice, the basic culture pre-war and the relationship between the 2 remains very well intertwined, and how this has been criticized by legal experts in the country as one of the main problems with the Judiciary in Japan?

Because your comment makes me think you don't.

And I'm not talking about "human rights lawyers", this culture of sucking up to the Executive by the Judiciary is criticized by corporate lawyers as to not allowing the challenge of anti-competitive laws and regulations that are in clear violation of the constitution, because they are going to lose by the Judiciary making justifications as to why the executive has the right to do whatever they want, than to actually try to interpret the constitution for its merits.

Not to mention that even in cases where the supreme court finds something to be in violation of the constitution, they lack the power to actually force real changes, and just give "recommendations" for the law to change.

While it is rare, one would be hard pressed to quickly recall someone that was actually imprisoned elsewhere. The example of Tsunehiko Maeda has been brought up

He was arrested for fabrication of physical evidence. The cases I'm talking about are confessions written by the police, with words that the suspect never even said, and used basically psychological torture to get the suspects to sign these fabricated "confessions", because this is known to happen and there aren't any arrests, at least that I know from all of the cases that afters years the suspects were proven innocent.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.

He lost weight. There is no objective evidence he has subjected to "torture", or any other element of the above.

All are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to equal protection of the law. All are entitled to equal protection against any discrimination in violation of this Declaration and against any incitement to such discrimination.

Sigh ... the Saikawa whiners again. First, the internal investigation concludes a lack of intention, and in the lack of better information we must assume that that's what any prosecutorial investigation would find. Second, Saikawa at least demonstrated some active repentance. Third, Ghosn had already been the target of a criminal complaint, which means a clear, declared victim, not the same as Saikawa. Any of these are perfectly legitimate reasons why Ghosn gets fried.

To take a simple analogy, suppose a cop walks by a very rowdy house. He suspects there is some kind of fight going on. But he may well choose to ignore it to respect the autonomy of the family. Now, someone comes running out of the house to tell the police there's a fight going on and requests intervention. Now he's a lot more obliged to take action. There are two more combatants in the house. One of them quickly accepts at least partial responsibility, apologizes, swears they would never do it again. The other is all unrepentant. Why are you surprised that the last guy got hit on the hardest?

Everyone has the right to an effective remedy by the competent national tribunals for acts violating the fundamental rights granted him by the constitution or by law.

Since it is very far from clear there is even such a violation, clearly it is premature to discuss this leg.

(1) Everyone charged with a penal offence has the right to be presumed innocent until proved guilty according to law in a public trial at which he has had all the guarantees necessary for his defence.

(2) No one shall be held guilty of any penal offence on account of any act or omission which did not constitute a penal offence, under national or international law, at the time when it was committed. Nor shall a heavier penalty be imposed than the one that was applicable at the time the penal offence was committed.

No one interprets this measure to deny the possibility of pretrial or even preindictment detentions. Or bail conditions.

(1) Everyone has the right to freedom of movement and residence within the borders of each state.

(2) Everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and to return to his country.

Except when they are under arrest.

Article 14.

 ...

(2) This right may not be invoked in the case of prosecutions genuinely arising from non-political crimes or from acts contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations.

Read the bold. And I really like this moving of goalposts and burden of proof. it's sufficient for you to throw accusations, while I must rebutt them in detail one by one. It really should be you demonstrating that the abuses not only exist, but they exist at a high rate.

how this has been criticized by legal experts in the country as one of the main problems with the Judiciary in Japan?

Presumably, they did not like the judgment that came down.

The corporate lawyer tack is interesting, but ultimately it is similar to the human rights lawyers. Without reading the judgment you don't really know what reasoning is used. Admittedly, I hadn't read a corporate one yet, but my experience with human rights whiners suggest a lot of the time, the legal position they support is very weak on the merits. Prima facie, it is difficult to see where an anti-competition law would unambiguously contradict the Constitution. And if there is no unambiguous contradiction, the executive is allowed discretion.

The cases I'm talking about are confessions written by the police, with words that the suspect never even said, and used basically psychological torture to get the suspects to sign these fabricated "confessions", because this is known to happen and there aren't any arrests, at least that I know from all of the cases that afters years the suspects were proven innocent.

Here is what you are completely ignoring - how hard it is to actually prove this to beyond a reasonable doubt. It is one thing to say there is enough probability to discredit the confession and set the convicted free, another to prove intentional "torture" to beyond a reasonable doubt.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

He lost weight. There is no objective evidence he has subjected to "torture", or any other element of the above.

Basically everyone, including you, knows what happens in those interrogation rooms with the police, because even if there is no evidence for this case in particular, there are just way too many witnesses and stories about it, that it is safe to assume it is also the case in the Carlos Ghosn detention.

Basically they are subjected to constant psychological torture to get them to sign confessions.

One of them quickly accepts at least partial responsibility, apologizes, swears they would never do it again. The other is all unrepentant. Why are you surprised that the last guy got hit on the hardest?

If the police were doing their job as they should, it should be the same, but we aren't talking about objective justice, but subjective gut feelings here.

So, if you say "I'm sorry" then you don't get the Japanese prosecutors to go against you?

I mean, that's the same kind of wrong as the one presented in the movie "Soredemo, boku wa yattenai" in which a pervert gets free if they say they are sorry, and someone who did nothing wrong goes to jail for saying they are not culpable.

The basics of how you find intention are for the most part subjective, that's why prosecutors love financial crimes, specially tax related. They can go either way depending on how they feel about someone.

In other words, being "unrepentant" shows nothing if a crime hasn't even been proved, but prosecutors in Japan always asume there is a crime, that's why they push for forced confessions, "to get over with this".

Since it is very far from clear there is even such a violation, clearly it is premature to discuss this leg.

[...]

Read the bold. And I really like this moving of goalposts and burden of proof. it's sufficient for you to throw accusations, while I must rebutt them in detail one by one. It really should be you demonstrating that the abuses not only exist, but they exist at a high rate.

You don't have to rebut anything. I mean, unless you are part of the prosecutor team, you really have no evidence yourself about anything, and even then you are doing assumptions.

Difference is, my assumptions are done by how the Japanese justice system regularly works. If you want proof that tomorrow there is going to be morning followed by night your life must be stressful.

Also, doing things like not allowing suspects to be with their own families while on bail is extremely irregular, and that is a clear violation of human rights.

Prima facie, it is difficult to see where an anti-competition law would unambiguously contradict the Constitution. And if there is no unambiguous contradiction, the executive is allowed discretion.

Actually there are clear abuses, not even by law, but by practice of this. The most common is copyright law.

Let me put it this way, its not even the constitution, but laws in the books gets disregarded and re-interpreted as the executive likes, even if the law isn't really that subjective.

But here is also the case, you need to see how many times the courts basically go with whatever the executive says compared with other courts around the world. The Japanese court is said to be one of the more "conservative courts" because they just about never go against the executive. That culture is a problem, because you have basically no real instrument to fight the executive in this country. If the executive always do interpretations of laws in their favor, and the courts are always going to agree, they can basically do whatever they want.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Luis David YanezJan. 5 04:47 pm JST

even if there is no evidence for this case in particular

Or maybe, since there is no evidence, it did not happen? Simple, isn't it?

I mean, that's the same kind of wrong as the one presented in the movie "Soredemo, boku wa yattenai" in which a pervert gets free if they say they are sorry, and someone who did nothing wrong goes to jail for saying they are not culpable.

To be more correct, it is someone who claims he did nothing wrong. Since that was a film that's not trying to be a mystery, guilt and innocence is shown to the viewer from the start. Real prosecutors and police don't have this advantage. A film fairer to the prosecutor would have started without any footage as to what Defendant was actually doing, but completely from the viewpoint of the Victim or Prosecutor.

As far as the law is concerned, once that Defendant was convicted, he has committed the act (unless he manages to appeal successfully at some point). The only difference between him and the confessing pervert is that he is more dangerous because he tried to conceal his act defaming the victim in trying to do so (because if you refute the charge of the victim, you are indeed accusing them of lying. It's one thing while you had not been proven criminally guilty yet, but the day you are obviously it'll count against you.)

Difference is, my assumptions are done by how the Japanese justice system regularly works.

Unproven accusations. Sure, I guess you can find a source, but it's probably someone who did not win in court. So it's not really all that probative.

doing things like not allowing suspects to be with their own families while on bail is extremely irregular, and that is a clear violation of human rights.

Now that we saw what kind of person Ghosn is, it's clear that they have already conceded too much even letting him out of his cell. Remember, the prosecutor does have the advantage of a lot more contact with Ghosn. He knows him on a level we or the judge does not.

But here is also the case, you need to see how many times the courts basically go with whatever the executive says compared with other courts around the world.

Or maybe the executive just understands the law and computes the limits as to how far it can go better than most other countries. Have you considered that? If you play it safe rather than lean against the law all the time, you can avoid a lot of lawsuits and greatly increase the probability of winning those thrown against you.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

A man gotta do what a man gotta do! If it were me, I think I'd have done the same thing! If you're fighting a battle that you know its rigged so you have no chance of winning, what do you do? Hats off to you, Ghosn!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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