crime

Ex-Nissan exec Kelly gets suspended sentence; judge slams Ghosn

83 Comments
By Yuri Kageyama

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As usual, a bunch of people who do not do the slightest bit of research just let rip their latent Japanophobia.

First, the court after examining all documents, determined that unreported expenses to the tune of 9 billion yen were present.

I think you have completely missed the point of the frustration of most commenters here.

Most understand that Gosn/Kelly were a bit dodgy, but so we're the entire board of Nissan. Same with Olympus and other corporations that have had Western execs and most corporations in Japan that don't.

The point isn't whether they did anything wrong (they likely did!)... Fiddling the numbers is a common grey standard in Japanese corporations.

The point you're missing is that the Japanese crooks seem not to get prosecuted for the same crimes as the "round eye" crooks.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

people have been complaining about the "salami slicing" of Kelly and Ghosn's acts into one year segments. At this junction, all that needs to be said is that had the crime all be in one segment, it would have been 

*Charges for financial year 2010-7: ***Guilty

Comedy gold! You excoriate those who point out the paucity of corroborative evidence from previous years, only to then claim that the lack of corroboration proves the judicial independence of the judges. Your final flourish, ‘Guilty as charged 2010-2017’ is fully in keeping with the lamentable preceding illogic.

From defending indefensible Tepco’s mismanagement and criminal culpability for Fukushima, or riding to the defence of a compliant judiciary that has abrogated its responsibility to shine a torch on the nefarious dealings of those who’ve abused legal process and hold them accountable for traducing Japan’s good name, its clear you have no qualms whatsoever in your disregard for fundamental legal principles.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

The money was not expended.

There's only an unsigned paper with undecided numbers that somehow became the one and only evidence.

When this story makes it to Netflix, will be in the comedy category.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Kazuaki, thanks for explaining the important information I was wondering. No other (mainstream) English source seemed to think it important.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

As usual, a bunch of people who do not do the slightest bit of research just let rip their latent Japanophobia.

First, the court after examining all documents, determined that unreported expenses to the tune of 9 billion yen were present.

Second, the court to not totally buy the testimony from a plea bargain. However, in the case of 2017, there were other witnesses, which strengthen the case. Further, it's natural that as the time to actually pay out this payout closed, it's more and more likely Kelly would have gotten involved in some way. The court chose to give him the benefit of the doubt in 2010-6 but of course this is not the sign of an independent judiciary, but the reverse (sarcasm).

Third, a (pretty obvious) clarification of law. The deliberate omission of an expense is indeed, falsification. Lying by omission is still lying.

Fourth, people have been complaining about the "salami slicing" of Kelly and Ghosn's acts into one year segments. At this junction, all that needs to be said is that had the crime all be in one segment, it would have been 

Charges for financial year 2010-7: ****Guilty

Done.

-12 ( +5 / -17 )

There is more truth in that comment than most would like to believe.

Jonathan Prin Mar. 3  11:23 am JST

Learn not to work for a Japanese company (corrupted bias).

5 ( +11 / -6 )

Tara Tan

This is Japan. Japanese law. There is nothing that an Ambassador can do.

Japan, be forewarned, this is absolutely chilling. No foreign talent would consider coming to Japan to work. This is on Japan. A major loss for Japan's future growth. Between this and the border closures, Japan is returning to an earlier period in history. Very isolated from the world's advances.

8 ( +14 / -6 )

The Taylors were 1st offenders and American. But they are still in jail.

Kelly had a high chance to get prison time.

If Kelly appeals the sentence, he might get prison for real.

Appealing's in Japan usually give you a harsher sentence.

j-justice is a joke, all way up.

3 ( +10 / -7 )

Well Kelly got off with a suspended sentence because he's American and Japan doesn't want to create tension with their only ally.

Japanese lawyers are saying that a suspended sentence for first time offenders guilty of this crime would be the standard, unless there were extenuating circumstances. What extenuating circumstances do you feel should have seen him imprisoned rather than getting the standard suspended sentence? After all you’re claiming special treatment.

-10 ( +3 / -13 )

Well Kelly got off with a suspended sentence because he's American and Japan doesn't want to create tension with their only ally. The sentencing would be very different if he was from, say, Spain.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

What is the American ambassador going to do about this???

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Since when greed or malice is a crime ? LOL

He wasn't charged with greed or malice, and he was found guilty of the crimes he was charged with, by a judge who released his findings with the guilty verdict. I'll assume you've read the verdict, which specific comments of the judge did you find failing with?

-10 ( +5 / -15 )

Since when greed or malice is a crime ? LOL

Nearly everyone on Earth would one day end up in a Japanese prison then.

Also, even more worrying, what is the legal reference in the Japanese law to define "greed" and "malice" and what is the red line not to cross. Does it mean I could be judge because there is no need for knowing law and just tell what you feel for conveniently judging ?

As always, purely objective in the interests of always the same few.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

All foreigners know about the dark side of Japan’s working sector and the joke of a legal system already, yet are so desperate to get Jobs at various Japan Inc.

I don't know how you got this impression, but I don't get the sense that foreigners (at least ones who are native English speakers) are "desperate" to work for Japan Inc, i.e. domestic Japanese companies in Japan. In terms of office environment and salary, outside of Japan the reputations of such companies are frankly terrible. Pretty much synonymous now with workplace bullying and low pay. The average person with a degree in finance or economics from a top university in Britain, Australia, Canada, or the United States isn't going to be "desperate" to work for Mizuho or MUFG in Tokyo. Similarly, I don't get the impression that engineering and other hard science graduates from countries outside of Japan are desperate to work for Nissan or Toyota in the Tokyo or Nagoya areas.

5 ( +9 / -4 )

And why did the judge keep attacking Ghosn who wasn't even on trial? How could Ghosn possibly get a fair trial from a judge with such predetermined opinions?

Japanese judges are pathetic cowards, terrified of Japans bureaucratic state prosecutors. It is the only way he his cowardice. Note how the judge did not slam Saikawa.

0 ( +8 / -8 )

Kelly you are a hero, single-handedly exposing the Tokyo prosecutors' office for the unaccountable fraud that it is. They are the ones that should be on trial.

And why did the judge keep attacking Ghosn who wasn't even on trial? How could Ghosn possibly get a fair trial from a judge with such predetermined opinions?

2 ( +9 / -7 )

Securities reporting is not just lists of BS, Income statements, all those figures. There are explanatory notes to be fairly utilized , where these guys could have explained what they had in their minds.

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

Heck, In the US, just obey the verdict and pay fine straight but in Japan insisting innocent.

What kind of reasonings should be expected from those protecting these guys, who probably believe

Ghosn willingly accepted 50% pay-cut for no reasons. Just ridiculous.

0 ( +6 / -6 )

The conviction rate in Japanese criminal trials exceeds 99%.

The decision was made months if not years ago. The court is just a charade.

6 ( +9 / -3 )

Ex-Nissan exec Kelly is the fall guy.

Not remotely responsible for this political pantomime.

Masquerading as any form of recognisable justice.

The J Government was never going to relinquish control of Nissan to Renault.

It will pluck its eyes out first.

6 ( +11 / -5 )

""I have always acted in the best interests of Nissan, and I have never been involved in an unlawful act," he said in a statement.""

Dear Mr. Kelly, that was the problem, you should have been like the rest of Nissan's executives double faced and a lier.

10 ( +15 / -5 )

Judge slams Ghosn? Too late! He be gone!

3 ( +8 / -5 )

The conviction rate in Japanese criminal trials exceeds 99%.

That last sentence is all anyone needs to know about the Japanese Judicial system.

0 ( +7 / -7 )

Greg fell in with a bad crowd 

Saikawa, Nada, etc.

7 ( +12 / -5 )

@Jonathan Prin

Medieval justice.

......

Learn not to work for a Japanese company (corrupted bias).

Good luck Japan for the future.

Their done!, Canadians, and Eu's maybe

3 ( +9 / -6 )

I wonder who believes Ghosn accepted 50% pay cut for no reason??? Huh?

Yeah just defects of written law? Right?

Do not speak of JUSTICE, unless you understand the spirit of the law

-7 ( +3 / -10 )

Will the shareholders, those J investors ever get to the bottom of this J boardroom coup d'etat?

Not before hell freezes over!!

A gross judicial charade.

It stinks, and makes a mockery of Jurisprudence.

1 ( +8 / -7 )

There is something that I can never understand about Japanese ultranationalists in the government. They don't allow Westerners owning major corporations and assets in Japan. However, they allow Taiwanese, Chinese, Koreans, Singapore to do so.

Recently, Singaporean GIC brought core assets from Seibu without any problem. Hon Hai from Taiwan brought a major industrial giant named SHARP, and Terry Gou has been extremely close with the CCP. Zojirushi's largest shareholder is a Chinese company. Many resorts in Hokkaido are being owned by China.

Meanwhile, Renault has a measly 43% of ownership in Nissan but Japanese ultranationalists go berserk.

0 ( +9 / -9 )

Ex-Nissan exec Kelly gets suspended sentence; judge slams Ghosn.

The judge slams Ghosn. Perhaps the judge should be slamming the Prosecutors Office, and fellow judges who disregarded Japans own and constitution. What a lamentable shower of imbeciles Japanese judges are. What a lamentable legal system.

5 ( +13 / -8 )

Ghosn, too, would have got a suspended sentence and would be a free man now if he hadn’t jumped bail.

For Kelly was fast, only 3 years.

In Ghosn case it had 3 different charges, would take over 7 years.

Even if Ghosn got acquitted he would have spent 7 years in Japan on bail.

2 ( +9 / -7 )

Ghosn, too, would have got a suspended sentence and would be a free man now if he hadn’t jumped bail.

-12 ( +3 / -15 )

What is this -- a fig leaf of guilt??

Whateva! The poor guy is a martyr. FINALLY he can leave Japan and reunite with family and friends, be in his own home again!!

He's like Job who spends (how long?) in the belly of the whale, surviving without light or freedom, but he came out to tell the tale!

6 ( +11 / -5 )

Greg fell in with a bad crowd but hopefully he's learned his lesson and will stay on the straight and narrow from now on. Everyone deserves a second chance.

-12 ( +4 / -16 )

The conviction rate in Japanese criminal trials exceeds 99%.

This 99% figure is often mentioned and criticized. Yet I see the following on Wikipedia:

The conviction rate is 99.3%. By only stating this high conviction rate it is often misunderstood as too high—however, this high conviction rate drops significantly when accounting for the fact that Japanese prosecutors drop roughly half the cases they are given. If measured in the same way, the United States' conviction rate would be 99.8%.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conviction_rate

I don't fully understand the comparison, but it seems it may not be so different from other countries.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Will we ever see that evidence that proves beyond any doubt that Kelly is guilty?

I'm very curious.

5 ( +10 / -5 )

Get home safe and we look forward to reading your book.

11 ( +13 / -2 )

This is a positive outcome.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

The ultimate irony is that J Inc’s ‘shoot itself in the foot’ perverseness might very well serve as a catalyst for moving beyond having to throw the baby out with the bath water whenever it gets the urge. However much it might have cost Nissan to buy Ghosn off, has surely been dwarfed by the incalculable cost to Japan’s reputation and the shredding of the value of the Nissan brand.

9 ( +13 / -4 )

The big fish they wanted to get is forever out of their reach-how embarrassing...

3 ( +9 / -6 )

Let this be a lesson to anyone who is thinking to work in Japan at a management level. Don't do it!!! Or you will get screwed by the banana republic justice of Japan!!!

3 ( +10 / -7 )

Glad to see Kelly got off with a favorable outcome and is out on suspended sentence and is a free man.

12 ( +12 / -0 )

not guilty of some counts and guilty of charges for one year only

Not guilty?

Who’d a think it.

Nice face saver to let him go free though, while giving the prosecutors a little of what they crave.

Not good. But better than Russia.

5 ( +11 / -6 )

Well it’s finally over for him but his career destroyed by the terrible justice system in Japan! He can resume his medical treatment and probably retirement back in the US. All foreigners know about the dark side of Japan’s working sector and the joke of a legal system already, yet are so desperate to get Jobs at various Japan Inc. Foreigners have heaps of unwarranted praise for Japan but suddenly when things get bad for them then they see the real Japan and perspective. As someone mentioned above, more than 90% of Japanese people avoid the Ghosn topic because they don’t want to reveal that they don’t like foreigners as heads of Japanese companies! So Ghosn and Kelly were already guilty in their mind and nothing will change this! There are far better options with greater pay in benefits for executives to explore elsewhere rather than waste their life without any appreciation in Japanese companies, and be ‘ thrown under the bus ‘ as Ghosn and Kelly were!

14 ( +18 / -4 )

Man, he looks like he aged 40 years. Poor guy. He got the short of the stick here.

15 ( +17 / -2 )

Ex-Nissan exec Kelly found guilty; gets suspended sentence

How predictable. Imbecile judges.

5 ( +15 / -10 )

A show trial. Shows foreigners can be set up in Japan and there is no justice. Nissan board should resign for allowing this and destroying the brand.

Hari Nada and Ohnuma should be arrested and tried separately - clear that they lied or misled (or covered up other things) and engineered a sting.

The Prosecutors look like bafoons who have been played by Nissan execs.

13 ( +21 / -8 )

I guess holding him hostage for 3 years on such a minor charge was supposed to teach him that the 'correct' thing to do in these situations is to plead guilty and bow and apologize a lot and save the prosecutors doing any work.

9 ( +17 / -8 )

holding him hostage for more than 3 years, what a waste of time and tax money.

13 ( +18 / -5 )

@bokuda

Lol! Just like in person-to-person interaction, you don't get to decide how others perceive you. Telling them you're cool won't to make them think you're cool. Telling them to "shut up" will make them laugh even harder. And it's exactly things like this trial that makes people from elsewhere laugh at claims about Japan's amazing human rights record. Anyone remember the name of the Japanese executive who admitted doing pretty much the same as Ghosn but bowed his way out?

4 ( +12 / -8 )

Something not quite right here. Everyone who seems to have 'abetted' Ghosn has been tried and sentenced, even the pilot who flew the escape plane, yet Ghosn (the culprit) continues to live a life of leisure, unscathed and untouched

-5 ( +6 / -11 )

"The conviction rate in Japanese criminal trials exceeds 99%."????

Either the defence lawyers are useless or the system is rigged! Wonder which one..

18 ( +25 / -7 )

Crazy to see again how far the Japanese government will go to save face in their embarrassing attempt to protect their industry.

14 ( +23 / -9 )

Guilty, Charges for financial year 2017

So I presume the logical next step is for prosecutors to bring charges against all the others at Nissan who were complicit in this fraud in 2017.

Surely the fact that Nissan pled guilty and paid a 200 million yen fine is irrelevant as this guilty plea didn't stop them from prosecuting Kelly who was part of Nissan at that time too.

12 ( +19 / -7 )

Expected result

8 ( +10 / -2 )

Such a non-surprise and as already said, face saving to one charge. Guess Kelly wont go in appeal, finishing his nightmare of 3 years.

5 ( +13 / -8 )

I miss the J-injustice Defenders. How are they going to spin this judgement in their favor? Guilty on just one charge, when the charges are all the same.

10 ( +19 / -9 )

Not so surprising. I'm sure he wasn't really guilty, but the J Justice system has to save face somehow and protect its 99% conviction rate. If I were Kelly, I would leave this all behind, go back to the US right away (in first class) and not have anything to do with Japan. It's a joke indeed. As far as the other Japanese execs, I don't think they will be convicted. If so, they will get a slap on the wrist.

13 ( +22 / -9 )

At least they showed some "leniency" with the suspended sentence. Whatever one may think, that there's progress in Japan, folks.

Ghosn was a superstar at Nissan, which he headed for nearly 20 years.

Maybe to some; to others, he was just a foreigner in charge of a Japanese company, and that didn't sit well.

3 ( +15 / -12 )

Japan doesn't have an independent judiciary. I was quite surprised when I first found this out.

8 ( +21 / -13 )

What a joke what a joke. This ridiculous decision which only exists as a consensus in order that the prosecutors don’t go come with their hands in their pocket, just shows that they had really nothing tangible against neither Kelly nor Ghosn. But I remember the Japanese media treating them as almost murderers. Japan can really be the a.. h… of the world.

And we know now that it was a set-up by Nisan with the complicity of the prosecutors to get rid of them. The Japanese mafia old boys club all over again.

7 ( +19 / -12 )

Hyper productive business elites will always think twice about coming here to live and work

Why would you have come here in the first place? You can go to an English speaking country (Singapore or Hong Kong) and pay a max of 18% tax with no capital gains taxes.

It's insane to think any exec would choose to come here.

10 ( +20 / -10 )

In the end justice is denied.

-12 ( +11 / -23 )

Watch for Kelly's Appeal and lets hope that the Judge will need to explain what he found different about the "one year" compared to the other years.

20 ( +30 / -10 )

Now the Japanese are starting to understand that their Japanese Government is totally corrupt. Ghosn was right to flee the antiquated Japanese legal dare I say system.

21 ( +34 / -13 )

*fixed url

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=WYfHWsWJhtg

-3 ( +12 / -15 )

The j-justice giving us another laugh

https://m.youtube.com/watch%3Fv%3DWYfHWsWJhtg

-6 ( +8 / -14 )

Sicking but par the course. Why any forgiener would risk working at the top level of a j corp is beyond me. Every other year there is one who is mis-treated to this extent and them and their families lives are ruined while the locals pat themselves on the back for doing 'justice'

18 ( +30 / -12 )

We have all had a little taste of the darkest side of the culture through the ongoing Ghosn fiasco, and seen what true cowards are capable of when they get together and act out their shared demons.. Japan as a nation has suffered almost beyond repair. Hyper productive business elites will always think twice about coming here to live and work, and have serious reservations. It may take a whole generation to repair the image, if ever, especially as the soul searching that should accompany such twisted events seems to not have happened. True colors revealed. The fact that more Japanese nationals weren’t more vocal about it too , and they conveniently bought the ‘Ghosn bad’ so easily was also quite disturbing. Ever tried to bring it up with the locals? Conversation ends before it even begins. Just too real. Enjoy your freedom Mr Kelly. Otsukaresama deshita.

21 ( +35 / -14 )

Its worth noting that the guy has been confined to Japan (out on bail but still with strict limitations) for four years, in order to be convicted of an offence so minor that his sentence is zero days in prison.

34 ( +42 / -8 )

Ghosn owes him about 3 million American. And guitar lessons.

2 ( +17 / -15 )

In other words guilty for the sake of prosecutor's reputation.

37 ( +49 / -12 )

They’ve already taken more than three years of his life which is probably more than he would have got if found guilty on all counts.

29 ( +40 / -11 )

Medieval justice.

Learn not to work for a Japanese company (corrupted bias).

Good luck Japan for the future.

28 ( +43 / -15 )

What about the Japanese cronies at Nissan? Can't wait for their comeuppance...

25 ( +39 / -14 )

So, basically he was not guilty but they had to save face for the prosecutors and J-gov so they found him guilty on charges for one year and gave a suspended sentence so he gets no prison time and can go free.

30 ( +43 / -13 )

A judgement to try to satisfy everybody: the prosecutors, so they don't look foolish; and, the defense, so they are free to go. But, it just makes the prosecutors and court look foolish, to outsiders, anyway.

Exactly!

charged with underreporting his boss Carlos Ghosn’s pay, a 6-month suspended sentence

reporting a pay Ghosn didn't even get..

Japan Inc gets it's victory on paper

exactly!

and can continue to do the exact same thing in many of the offices of Japan Inc.,, with some skimming of funds, grossly appropriated subsdies and wage theft thrown in.

Yup.

But the gaijin scapegoats were shamed and things can go back to business as usual.

Not really. Everyone knows this was a sham..

I lost all faith in j-justice.

Eh?? Did you have any before??

What a joke!

Its the Japanese Justice System

16 ( +35 / -19 )

What a joke!

29 ( +41 / -12 )

charged with underreporting his boss Carlos Ghosn’s pay, a 6-month suspended sentence

Japan Inc gets it's victory on paper

and can continue to do the exact same thing in many of the offices of Japan Inc.,, with some skimming of funds, grossly appropriated subsdies and wage theft thrown in.

But the gaijin scapegoats were shamed and things can go back to business as usual.

37 ( +49 / -12 )

I lost all faith in j-justice.

24 ( +47 / -23 )

Not guilty, Charges for financial year 2010

Not guilty, Charges for financial year 2011

Not guilty, Charges for financial year 2012

Not guilty, Charges for financial year 2013

Not guilty, Charges for financial year 2014

Not guilty, Charges for financial year 2015

Not guilty, Charges for financial year 2016

Guilty, Charges for financial year 2017

Makes you think that the 2017 guilt charge was a last-ditch salvo by the judge to avoid completely humiliating the prosecutors.

54 ( +70 / -16 )

A judgement to try to satisfy everybody: the prosecutors, so they don't look foolish; and, the defense, so they are free to go. But, it just makes the prosecutors and court look foolish, to outsiders, anyway.

38 ( +53 / -15 )

Expected.

38 ( +42 / -4 )

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