crime

Ghosn hires new defense team in change of strategy

42 Comments
By Kiyoshi Takenaka and Tim Kelly

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42 Comments
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Has anyone an idea when the trial may start?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Even the Japanese lawyers don’t understand it.

There are issues, including those related to the case above, but the Japanese legal system isn't that bad............ Come on.......

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

One outcome may be that the French government trades Ghosn's personal freedom for a weakened say in how Nissan is run. In particular, Renault has 43.4% voting shares in Nissan and these may be permitted to be partially or fully revoked. If so, Ghosn will be released, returning to France to run Renault, and it's unlikely he will step foot in Japan again. If this was to happen, people wouldn't be surprised that Ghosn once back in France would sue Nissan there (or the USA or UK) for unfair dismissal. This could be quite lucrative for him, as Mr. Woodford, the former CEO of Olympus found out. Woodford reportedly received about US$10m for his troubles. It leaves to believe Ghosn should be able to ask triple that amount. Doing so would also offer some measure of vindication.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Ghosn has to make a choice to tie this personal charge with Nissan's business practice to present a complex and convoluted picture to the public. He obviously is the victim at the center.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

With Renault that has just scrapped his 30M USD severance package because of absenteeism (!) I bet he will fight to the end. He is described as a jet-setter, which is wrong. He is a hard working guy loving being in the light with its fair share of show off. But with his jesuits education when young and his experience in the féroce car business competition, he is on the top tier of resilience skill.

My guess, but for sure he is putting a huge of pressure on the prosecutor and Nissan-Renault alliance from his tiny cell.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Carlos , U gave us hope with yr ever fighting sprits. Pls try very hard.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Very well-done Carlos, It is time to present the facts from yr side. Taking a foreigner person hostage had a lot to say abt saikawa type of S.O.B , he is not special, there are many like him in japan but not as shameless as him. Pls fight on, We foreigners & good Japanese support U. Yr case, have educated us very much. The point of this case is most important to just speak the truth. U cannot know every Japanese system , U have been here 2 decades. I have been here in japan 3 decades. Lets present the facts.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Hope Ghosn lose this one. I'd bet on it.

-7 ( +1 / -8 )

Gloves off, street fight Lebanese style. For a street fight you need a street fighter not an ex-bureaucrat pretending to be a lawyer.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

 A Guilty verdict would still cast doubt upon the system. Two, an Innocent verdict could be the downfall of Nissan Motors. 

There is no "innocent" verdict. He will be found either "not- guilty" or "guilty" whether he is innocent or not.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

I think the photo shows the old defence team

Yeah,you're right.No-one looks 73 there and it states whom they are.Hopefully his new team doesn't look so defeatist as this previous mob. They look like they are thinking of the fallout when they go back to work with the prosecutor's office.Will they be shunned or what? Aside from taking Ghosn's money, what did they achieve?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Perhaps we might actually have a proper trial after all. Many of us following this case are not necessarily fans of Ghosn but also are skeptical as to how this has been handled from the outset.

There are many who just want to see a proper trial and if a conviction is warranted based on actual evidence presented then many here would accept the outcome.

It is not so complicated.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Looking forward to reading Ghosn’s memoirs in all of their Kafkaesque glory.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

French perhaps for the Renault office HQ and some in the Nissan and Renault Tokyo offices, though I'd imagine the majority would be in English

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Will I believe he is speaking English in his statements and work life, why would he need a translator for those other languages?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Will Goode - Ok so everyone is Japanese, Defense, Prosecutor, Judge, Jury etc but does he get to pick his own translator, French,Lebanese,Brazilian, American or English if he wants

How can you expect a foreign lawyer to decipher Japanese law? Even the Japanese lawyers don’t understand it.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Ok so everyone is Japanese, Defense, Prosecutor, Judge, Jury etc but does he get to pick his own translator, French,Lebanese,Brazilian, American or English if he wants ?

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Does anyone here honestly think he will get a fair trial based on his treatment so far?

probably not, its guilty until proven guilty in Japanese law, the loss of face by the J prosecutors and all those that have already declared him guilty would be too much to handle, far easier to pin something anything on Ghosnso so they can save some pride. thank god Im not shackled by the draconian mindset so many here seem to suffer from, it really is holding Japan back in more ways than people realise

6 ( +9 / -3 )

Japan's legal system is a Banana Republic in itself. The world is laughing at this undemocratic process. As always, the brainwashed Japanese society side with injustice.

> A person is presumed to be innocent until proven guilty. Yet, such a concept is so difficult to accept by Japan. Lawless, gangster prosecutors should be investigated for abuse of power.

I couldn't agree more. What really bothers me is the lack of interest in his case from the non Japanese media and the wet noodle response from Macron.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

This is looking better. I hope for Nissan’s sake that Ghosn prevails and they clean house with those responsible for this mess. If they wanted him gone, it could have been done more discretely and certain.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

There still needs to be a protest

0 ( +4 / -4 )

While Japans system of judges being appointed by the Ministry of Justice prevails, I don't see how things can ever reform.

As the Ministry of Justice seems to be controlled by prosecutors, then judges will jus remain as rubber stampers.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

Yep sounds better, that my cousin Vinny lawyer was no solid lawyer nor believes in real democracy, just a paper pusher like the other drones.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Does anyone know why he doesn't have a non-native Japanese on his defense team?

Simple answer is that he can't; under Japanese law, no provision is made for non-citizen attorneys to make courtroom appearances or issue legal documents, it must be done by a Japanese national who has passed the national bar exam, or who has worked 10 years in various legal-related capacities and qualifies that way. There are no reciprocal privileges for attorneys from other countries or of other nationalities - afaik.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

This is going to be interesting given prosecutors here aren't very experienced doing their jobs without confessions.

Stay strong, Ghosn. Make them actually present evidence.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

I think the photo shows the old defence team

I'm sure his defence team consult with people who are non Japanese, the nature of the case bring as it is.

@zonestosurf

It is hard to study and understand Japanese law as a second language speaker, many times harder to become qualified in it, but nothing is impossible.......

Law school is not a necessity, there is just an extra pre exam to pass before the bar exam. But you have to study it some way or another. Like at a juku type school.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Guess this was the best he could do!

Who wants a lawyer with "connections" to the prosecutor's office?

("Otsuru previously led the special prosecutors' office...").

Maybe those old "chains" are still working and you can't expect Otsuru to put give all he has defending Ghosn?

Anyways, hope this will bring this whole story to an end (a good one for Ghosn!!).

7 ( +8 / -1 )

You have to go to Japanese law school and pass the Japanese law exam

Language is certainly a barrier. All the more to the Japanese who go to US law schools for the JD and pass the bar all in English a foreign language for them. That said the success rate is higher in the US compared to Japan

Going to law school though is not a requirement to passing the Japanese Bar. You can pass an exam and qualify yourself to take the bar exam directly.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Personally I think the injustice system here will not allow the case of a mere foreigner to disrupt or change Japanese Law or the consequences of it. Ghosn's fate I fear has already been decided as the ramifications of a not guilty verdict are far too large for Japan as a whole to accept. If Ghosn is innocent he will be found guilty in some shape or form so that the Japanese can say they were right! It is really as simple as that. Does anyone here honestly think he will get a fair trial based on his treatment so far? I really really really hope I am wrong...for Ghosn's sake! Ganbatte Ghosn-san

14 ( +15 / -1 )

Ghson just being use as a scapegoat. The whole board knew what going on, they are no way he can do it without the blessing of the board, unfortunately most Asian company especially Japanese are not transparent .The guilty party are the board they are culpritbiliy n the mess or miss appropriation. Worst the Japanese justice system are so archaican need to be fix fare to the accuse .You see the Malaysia 1MDB CASE the former prime minister Najid being put on trial get bail out walk around even talk politic,brag about his innocent ,without have to sit in jail wait for trial date in court ,with 42counts of corruption ,miss use of fund hanging on his head .What a contrast a developing country law compare a developed country law like Japan.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

Fight the good fight guys. Help an out of date broken system change, even if it does go kicking and screaming, which it will. History in the making. To say a lot is at stake would be a massive understatement.

6 ( +9 / -3 )

@since1981,

Question; Does anyone know why he doesn't have a non-native Japanese on his defense team?

Well, that is pretty straightforward. While there a nuances, I'll lay out the simplified versions.

This is a matter of domestic law and, as such, unless someone is a licensed bengoshi in Japan, one is not allowed to practice domestic law.

And becoming a bengoshi in Japan is virtually impossible for a foreigner. You have to go to Japanese law school and pass the Japanese law exam. Which is all in Japanese. And, of course, to get admitted to a Japanese law school as a foreigner is almost impossible. All of the code / law is in Japanese, all of the writings / briefs, etc. are in Japanese.

Beyond the fact that there are virtually no non-Japanese bengoshi in Japan to begin with, then there is the matter of the law itself. Truthfully, even if you had a non-Japanese bengoshi, I am not sure what value, if any, they would bring.

That is not to say that there are not non-Japanese lawyers practicing in Japan. Of course there are. But they are not bengoshi and so they themselves are restricted in the types of matters they can advise on. What they end up doing is hiring Japanese bengoshi / affiliating with Japanese bengoshi in order to fill those gaps. And, as a general matter, they don't deal with criminal matters or if they do, this is handled by the Japanese bengoshi in their practice/

Not a perfect explanation and probably an oversimplification, but hope that helps.

12 ( +16 / -4 )

@bearandrodent - They look equally inspiring as the old team.

I do believe that is in fact his old team.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

@since1981 - Question; Does anyone know why he doesn't have a non-native Japanese on his defense team?

No doubt it is due to the complexities and grey areas of Japanese law, plus the language barrier.

If Ghosn is proven innocent it will the injustices of Japanese law. He will receive no compensation for his unlawful detention either. He will have to launch a civil suit against Nissan to get anything.

15 ( +16 / -1 )

Japan's legal system is a Banana Republic in itself. The world is laughing at this undemocratic process. As always, the brainwashed Japanese society side with injustice.

A person is presumed to be innocent until proven guilty. Yet, such a concept is so difficult to accept by Japan. Lawless, gangster prosecutors should be investigated for abuse of power.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Were they press-ganged into the job? Hopefully they're a case of not judging a book by its cover... for Ghosn's sake.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Question; Does anyone know why he doesn't have a non-native Japanese on his defense team?

2 ( +3 / -1 )

"Otsuru was miscast. He worked at the heart of the special prosecutors office so he was not someone who was going to go after them aggressively," Gohara said. "Hironaka is an experienced defense lawyer who has won a number of cases. He will mount a more thorough and aggressive defense."

The original team with Otsuru made sense at the time, as I think Ghosn was hoping that Otsuru's relationships with the prosecutors office might make things less adversarial in the initial phases. And perhaps result in him being released on bail.

But now that it is clear that this will not happen and that a trial is coming, it makes sense to put more aggressive bengoshi on the case. And one has to imagine that Otsuru might have been reluctant to pursue aggressive tactics against his former colleagues.

20 ( +23 / -3 )

So the question is..... will Hironaka give it his all because if Ghosn is found innocent it will do two things. One is that it will show that Japan's Legal system works. A Guilty verdict would still cast doubt upon the system. Two, an Innocent verdict could be the downfall of Nissan Motors. If he's found innocent there would have to be massive repercussions for Nissan. Why.... because it would prove that all the damning evidence Nissan has submitted was either irrelevant, made up, or should have been their responsibility to report in the first place. Or that they should not have allowed such compensation in the first place. Or.... Ghosn could be guilty as sin and Justice properly served if found guilty.

13 ( +16 / -3 )

They look equally inspiring as the old team.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

If this guy lives up to his reputation the prosecutors had better provide actual evidence against Ghosen or they will lose!

19 ( +21 / -2 )

Better stock up on adult diapers and baby food, Ghosn.

-26 ( +1 / -27 )

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