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Five things we learned from Ghosn's day in court

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By Richard Carter

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Actually the 5 things I learned from Ghosn's day in court were:

The judge had no intention of taking anything Ghosn had to say into consideration as the outcome was already decided behind closed.

This hearing was simply a show to "appear" to be following the rule of law, however if they thought for even a second it would not have gone in their favour it would not have taken place.

The prosecutors do not appear to have enough evidence or the ability to secure a conviction without a confession (they seem to have no other skills except forcing a confession) and thus his detention will likely continue until he does or overwhelming pressure from outside and the potential negative impact in this and other areas tips the balance in favour of Ghosn. I think we are getting very close to reaching equlibrium on this fulcrum.

It is crystal clear that as a foreigner in Japan you are treated completely differently and in a very negative manner.

Nissan and the Government are clearly in bed together in their attempt to rid themselves of any foreign influence. This tells you everything that you need to know.

Somewhat completely different perspective to this article.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Viktor Cernatinskij Sorry, but so far in this case the prosecution has presented no evidence and there is no trial yet, a person should be considered innocent until proven guilty, but the prosecution keeps the man in jail what seems indefinite, while actually presenting no proof of guilt. As Western people look on, it makes no sense. With a 99% conviction rate by prosecutors it begins to make very clear sense, no matter what a defendant does evidently, does not matter, the state is going to do what ever it wants. Perhaps Westerners do not understand the Japanese Justice System, but a 99% conviction rate does not help the System, it only makes the system look highly suspicious. They really need to bring this to trial as soon as possible, because the longer this farce plays out, the worse the entire Judicial System in Japan looks.

The other day the new Nissan boss was on Japanese TV, and I've got to say just listening to the man's words, it really sounded as if this is nothing more than a coup. I imagine that if any State keeps you long enough and looks deep enough they can find something bad about anybody, or they can just make it up out of thin air, kind of like they way they print money out of thin air, after all half the judges in all Western Nations owe their allegiance to the State. Since the LDP has mostly controlled the State in Japan, the judges allegiance in all likelihood is to the LDP. The only problem here is, the defendant has money and some power, he can have the best lawyers money can buy, and I assume that is exactly what he has, probably a whole team of lawyers. As a CEO I would also imagine the man has all pertinent documents that are related to this, he does not appear to be a fool. If the prosecution does not create guilt in some fashion without being caught doing it, or actually have proof of guilt, they will look like fools if they lose this in the eyes of the entire World. This is really good, and it makes me want to buy pop corn and enjoy the show. I do know when this is all over, I plan on reading some of the books that will come out because of this.

Company going broke, man rescues company what seems single handedly, company then stabs man in back, what better drama is there than that, reads like a dime store novel already.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

This reminds of an article here some years back where a former Tokyo prosecutor spilled the beans on the inner workings of the office. One of the things he claimed was that that gaijin are considered to have no rights...along with yakuza.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

can you imagine the stink the japanese govt would raise if Sth korea detained a japanese executive over war reparations.It stinks to high heaven that even if he is suspected of something he is still detained.Id expect that from China or Russia but japan ...shame shame shame

5 ( +7 / -2 )

We also learned the Japanese justice system is in fact an injustice system

No no, we’ve known that for a while.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

My guess is that, right now, a massive internal investigation is going on inside the Public Prosecutor's Office as to how this incompetent special investigation unit has conducted itself.

Instead of following normal international procedures such as intopol, or embassy channels, they have tried the Pearl Harbour tactic. (Obviously Japan is slow to learn).

Because right now, Japan is looking extremely stupid in the eyes of just about everybody.

Bye, bye to the days of "this is Japan" and "kawai desu ne".

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Plus we learned the food ain't great.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

tina -thanks for the Sankei (heh) link.

An NHK report of the same incident said that a statement had been issued through his lawyer in English -

""Things as they stand are absolutely unacceptable," he was quoted as saying. "I want to have my position heard and restore my honour in court."

It never mentioned anything about going back "home" and then returning to Japan.

Bit of a tough choice - Sankei's translation of the original into Japanese or NHKs version.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I see a lot of mean bad Japanese getting the better of foreign brains hard work and love for their companies. Carlos case is just one of this kind of cases. Flight risk and hide evidence ???,for weeks, Nissan Inc, the prosecutors & the what have U , cannot find anything to charge Carlos with ???.Time & tax payers money wasted. A 64 years old man life is in a mess & his family is hurt.............all for saikawa ego, selfishness and jealousy of Carlos's life ???. this case is smelling really bad from Japan to the whole world. It is better if Japan show that they have to treat Foreign brains better or nothing Japan says will mean anything to the world. We good Japanese are very ashamed of such poor minded system.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

So, long story short, the same media that has been trying to hang Ghosn out to dry decided to make a field day out of his appearance in court, which they didn't actually even cover firsthand. How typical. A journalist friend who used to work here said that those working for major Japanese publications and media had no sense at all of belonging to the 4th estate or what that role entailed, but were simply salarymen who happened to rewrite government and corporate press releases for a living. I guess chasing ambulances, each other or their own tails is also part of the job description...

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Japanese can easier forgive executives that commit fraud trying to help or save their own company.

Japanese will not forgive greedy executives trying to enrich themselves.

Greediness is stupid anywhere in the world including Japan.

Modesty is highly valued by Japanese, and not so much in other so called civilized parts of the world.

If you are planning to move to live in Japan, better learn very well Japanese culture and respect it otherwise you may end up in detention eating rice 3 times per day, 21 times per week, 1092 times per year........
-6 ( +2 / -8 )

Carlos do not deserve this kind of treatment, he is a man that among the few foreign men in Japan that saved a Japanese Car company from bankruptcy. If U were in his position, or yr father or anyone in yr family ???. Do U think that his life is luxury ???. Then, U have never live before. Have U ever heard the term , to each his own ???. U made yr own place, Carlos just made his own by his skills. Nothing any capable person should be envious of. Is anyone aware that American in top management are paid 300 times more than an ordinary employee in America ???. Think abt the hard honest work Carlos have done for 20 years...........................think wisely Japanese court and release him on bail. Pls stop wasting tax payers money & time. If U have nothing to do in court or in the prosucutors office ,pls all of u help the elderly in Japan or clean up the dirty roads in the country side.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

but he had said he would prove his innocence but he didn't.

In Japan a person is assumed innocent until proven guilty. The burdon of proof is in the prosecutor, not the defendant.

All that has really been learnt from Ghost's court appear is : there are serious problems with Japan judiciary.

All that has been learnt from your comment s, Tina, is that there is a serious problem with Japanese culture.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Andrew, if he was guilty, wouldnt the accountants and CFO be jumping up and down with paperwork to try to get a career advancement and a pay rise for reporting that.. think about it..

its because theres zero evidence

1 ( +2 / -1 )

The crux of the matter being judged at Tuesday's hearing was to explain to Ghosn why he was still being detained and in the judge's view, this was an open-and-shut case.

Presiding Judge Yuichi Tada noted that Ghosn had "bases in foreign countries" and could "escape". Tada also said there were grounds to suspect he could tamper with evidence or induce others to. Based on this, "we decided there is a need for detention," said Tada.

But the prosecutors office still hasn't proven that Nissan or the Tax Office has suffered a criminal loss.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

I doubt he will get a luxury cell, most likely a cell similar to what horiemon got, for those who do no know who Takafumi Horie is: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Takafumi_Horie

1 ( +1 / -0 )

If he gets a luxury cell, why not give him a private butler and a personal Michelin star chef?

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Sakurasaki ... thank you for that insight on what Ghosn is going through, and what we know of the Japanese legal system through the case of Kelly Luce.

For those interested, here is the link ... http://nymag.com/vindicated/2016/11/truth-lies-and-videotape-at-the-kawasaki-kmart.html

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Boy the 'judge" comes off looking like a real TWEEB!!

The crux of the matter being judged at Tuesday's hearing was to explain to Ghosn why he was still being detained and in the judge's view, this was an open-and-shut case.

Presiding Judge Yuichi Tada noted that Ghosn had "bases in foreign countries" and could "escape". Tada also said there were grounds to suspect he could tamper with evidence or induce others to. Based on this, "we decided there is a need for detention," said Tada.

How incredibly lame after reading Ghosn eloquent statement of his views on all this, even if he is guilty he has TOTALLY out classed the ""J-justice"" system!!

4 ( +5 / -1 )

but he had said he would prove his innocence but he didn't.

Presumably, he meant in the actual trial.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

browny1, when he was thought to be bailed out in December, it was reported Ghosn saying something like, "I definitely come back to Japan for trials because it is important to restore my honor" 

Enter key words ( Sankei, Ghosn, come back etc)  in Japanese.

-7 ( +0 / -7 )

He lost 10 kilos in 7 weeks. He must be stoked! I'm really glad for him

oh ok maybe you can share a cell beside his for 7 weeks. Have a nice chat about weight loss issues, youll have plenty of time to do it

3 ( +4 / -1 )

inawatanabeToday 11:33 am JST

it is risible that he might run away.

He has stated that he would fly back to Japan for trials if he was bailed out.

Tina - any links to him stating such? I don't disbelieve you, just I've never heard this before.

Thanks.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

If released, he would prefer to leave Japan probably. But if a condition of his release was that he undertook to remain in Japan, and moreover his passport(s) were confiscated, and given his high profile especially in Japan, the risk of his leaving Japan without authorisation is zero. Any evidence that was being sought from his home(s) or office(s) in Japan must surely have been collected by now, so the risk of tampering or destroying evidence is also zero. The stated reasons for continuing to hold him are absolutely bogus, as anyone can see.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

it is risible that he might run away.

He has stated that he would fly back to Japan for trials if he was bailed out.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

The defendant is under no obligation to explain the evidence, that is the obligation of the prosecutor.

but he had said he would prove his innocence but he didn't.

-10 ( +1 / -11 )

He didn't explain any evidence but only irrelevant things, which only made him more suspicious.

what evidence? You mean the evidence that he committed no French breach of the law and would be free right now if not for the Nissan ol' boys network?

5 ( +5 / -0 )

He didn't explain any evidence but only irrelevant things, which only made him more suspicious.

The defendant is under no obligation to explain the evidence, that is the obligation of the prosecutor. Your analysis is utterly incorrect.

12 ( +12 / -0 )

No dignity or class, our judicial system will only get more corrupt and rigged...

If our country is truly a democracy and the Americans wrote our Constitution, please someone or an American lawyer, tell me what 'democracy' and 'freedoms ' are there post WW2 Japan..

6 ( +7 / -1 )

He certainly looks thinner.  and agree it is risible that he might run away.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Some Japanese TV stations deployed helicopters to provide viewers with an aerial view of the drab grey building in northern Tokyo which has been home to Ghosn for more than seven weeks.

This is all about ratings, the zombies among us here in society, have not figured out how corrupt our system is, the old saying a nail that sticks out.. We should form a protest outside this prison

And whats with two cups side by side on the drawn picture... They've been watching prison break TV drama on Prime..

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Fagui Curtain, 2 cents? Your post is more like $20! lol

The sketches I saw on the news did make his face look really thin, a shocking contrast compared to photos of him from before this all went down.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I still feel that something untoward is going to happen to Ghosn, in order for the Japanese to "save face" with their despicable actions.Or they'll get the coerced confession by crook,but still deny him bail.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Here is my 0.02 cents on this story. I have no special info, just reading internet articles:

1) Ghosn (obviously) has been a very good CEO if judged by financial metrics (the ones that matters for shareholders) or customers

2) He was "underpaid" among his vastly overpaid multinational CEO peers. I suspect that either a love of money, or more probably a strong ego who measured success by his money, pushed him to use his position at Nissan to maximize his payout, and go into all sort of "gray areas" to achieve this goal.

Using shell companies to buy very luxurious properties for his only personal use in locations which have no strategic importance for the group but high importance for him as it is his home countries (Brazil, Lebanon); while the purported goals of those companies was to do investments for the group...

Using company jets for his private use

Using [widely used for high executive expats working in Japan] schemes to delay payments to escape taxes and regulatory constraints

Doing all of the above abusing his CEO power and without relevant internal approval

3) regarding the FX story, this is "funny" fiasco. Ghosn wanted to be paid in USD but it wasn't possible according to Nissan rules. As he was doing financial planning, he used his own bank [Shinsei] to "hedge" those future USD payments with financial products but when Lehman crisis hit, USDJPY went below 80 and because his future pay [and thus hedge] was estimated to be so big, he was facing huge losses and margin calls which could have bankrupted him because he didn't have the funds yet (in the future only).

Thats a huge miss. Its like companies mining some metals, they usually don't go on the open market to sell 10 year of production on futures because the very exact same thing could happen to them and bust them [yep, it did happen a few times actually !]. Strange that it never occured to him it could happen and he took the gamble [that this tail-risk would precisely never happen] just to guarantee for him a few more millions $ (instead of billion yens)

Makes me question all his pre-supposed intelligence and savviness !

When hedge went wrong, he panicked, and used Nissan to cover the margin calls. Of course it has a financial cost (cost of capital, opportunity loss), of course it was a ridiculous situation to be in, and although i can understand Ghosn's reasoning that Nissan should feel they need to be grateful and help their genius CEO, Nissan is not a bank, and its very difficult for a public company to explain to their investors they need to make a personal to their CEO who lost money on what was a gamble, so he had to hide as much as he could all this mess

4) it is up to everyone to make his own opinion whether what Ghosn did was morally good or bad; and whether he deserves 10 year in prison compared to what some people committing violent crimes do.

However judges and prosecutors follow the letter of the law. I am no legal expert and have no idea whether what Ghosn did, but i'm pretty sure at least in some countries it would be mean some time in jail and probably unfortunately for him it will mean prison in Japan.

Acting in many gray areas, means taking a lot of legal risks, and now Ghosn's fate will be determined by technicalities

5) I'm not sure Ghosn IN PARTICULAR is taken as a special target by Japanese judges and prosecutors. Because of his fame, we have a lot of media attention, and we see in highlight how the Japanese judicial system works, a system where 99% of people indicted get punished, which either means a lot of innocent people are wrongly condemned OR that prosecutors only go after someone if they have a very very strong case [and I believe Japanese people trust their system and their prosecutors and thus most Japanese people believe Ghosn is rightly accused].

The prosecutors are abusing the system to keep him in jail to force a confession but Ghosn is not giving in.

6) I have sympathy for the guy because even if he did wrong, and even if he is guilty of 100% of what he is being accused , I don't believe he deserved this treatment, nor that he (morally) deserves 10 years in a tiny cold cell in a Japanese prison even if thats the letter of the law. This whole incident is showing how ridiculous the Japanese system can be, not to mention that the whole incident was driven by his rebellious colleagues/rivals and former accomplices at Nissan giving him to the cops and who so far are out of reach from the justice.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

It's nice that the judge admitted that the Japanese "justice" system is so incompetent and useless that it cannot ensure a person released on bail remains in the country.

8 ( +10 / -2 )

I'm sure the prosecutors are crapping themselves because Ghosn is not caving and acting professional, which is forcing the prosecutors to actually do their jobs instead of simply relying on a forced confession.

Stay strong, Ghosn! You're teaching the Japanese a little something about justice even after you saved Nissan for them.

13 ( +15 / -2 )

He didn't explain any evidence but only irrelevant things, which only made him more suspicious.

He explained what really all three allegations all about.

Evidence? He is under custody with limited contacts, only Nissan and prosecutors have access to evidence.

10 ( +10 / -0 )

Here is what we learned from the 64-year-old's day in court:

Ghosn (still) big in Japan

Custody takes its toll

Yes custody takes its toll and it can happen to any person in Japan, like Kelly Luce an English Teacher who lost her job after being wrongly accused and detained for two weeks. You can easily find her story online.

So it doesn't matter whether you are innocent or not, people just can not just disappear for weeks even months without any consequence to their life. While justice system only care suspect could tamper evidence, that come with cost ruining people life.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

The idea that a judge would essentially repeat the reason for detention that the prosecutors have put forward, without in any way questioning it, gives rise to suspicion that the judge is biased towards the State.

A judge in Japan is just a lackey not free to make a judgement. They are well-paid lackeys with very cushy, very easy jobs(that every Japanese lawyer aspires to - that's why they are lackeys too). A Japanese judge's job as Orwell would have put it is to "give an appearance of solidity to pure wind."

They all know full well that to express an independent thought is career suicide.

16 ( +16 / -0 )

what is the purpose or outcome for this court day? no benefit at all for ghosn, a dumb show for the world. 

Ghosn's side demanded it.

-8 ( +1 / -9 )

It will only look bad for the Japanese authorities if this is, indeed, a trumped up and baseless charge.But it's not looking that way. Dodgy Saudi payments, an iffy pay package statement and misuse of company assets.

How the mighty have fallen.

-6 ( +2 / -8 )

He didn't explain any evidence but only irrelevant things, which only made him more suspicious.

-17 ( +1 / -18 )

I think he's genuine for his love for Nissan. He clearly has invested a lot into the company and would probably return to the chair if all of the Japanese conspirators get sacked and shamed. Same thing happened with Olympus, Woodford said he'd gladly return to the head of the company if it was requested.

10 ( +12 / -2 )

I suspect that the reason he has lost so much weight is not only because the portions are smaller than he is used to, but because the food is simply unpalatable.

Guilty or innocent, he is a man of great resolve and he is obviously staying very calm and 'keeping the wa' under what are quite horrid conditions. He knows that any outburst of emotion will be interpreted as 'guilt' by the judge and the media. Something that is unique to Japanese culture...

I hope he has his day to tear strips off this whole farce (it hasn't come yet, but it will). Japan will be VERY embarrassed by all this in the end. Another reason why the Japanese should foster a more flexible, open and honest mindset, as opposed to doubling down in insularity whenever they are in the wrong.

7 ( +10 / -3 )

Is it problematic to suggest that there is a close affinity between the judges and prosecutors?!

For all of us that have focused on the deficiencies in the Japanese legal system that have been highlighted by this case, it is about the demonstrable facts that this case highlights.

It is well known that there are close ties between the prosecutors and judges in Japan. They are, in fact, both representatives of the State and for anyone that has studied the history of the Japanese legal system, one understands this.

This is not only true of Japan, it is true in other countries.

The idea that a judge would essentially repeat the reason for detention that the prosecutors have put forward, without in any way questioning it, gives rise to suspicion that the judge is biased towards the State.

And that is just critical thinking being applied.

As other posters have noted, there any number of ways for Ghosn to be released and the issues the judge mentioned be addressed.

However, all of us know that the reasons given are purely window dressing. The REAL reason for continuing to detain him is so that prosecutors can question him anytime, day or night, WITHOUT his lawyer so that they can extract a confession.

THAT is why he is being detained and the judge knows this full well given how the Japanese system works. But obviously cannot say so.

19 ( +20 / -1 )

This is a good example why the US Government doesn’t want to renegotiate on the SOFA pertaining to arrests and detainment of its Military members before indictment.

13 ( +15 / -2 )

since1981Today  07:34 am JST

“Why not just put him under house arrest with an ankle bracelet?”

Japan doesn’t “do” ankle bracelets. Whenever something that mentions them comes up in the news (like the recent release on bail in Canada of the Huawei executive) they have to include an explanation of what the ankle bracelet does. I’ve been wondering if such high profile cases might eventually spur Japan to adopt such a system but I doubt if it will be anytime soon.

13 ( +14 / -1 )

Oh I hope this continues to look bad for JAPAN(ESE), I am enjoying this because the Japanese will not be able to wipe off the egg in their faces fast enough.

14 ( +19 / -5 )

We also learned the Japanese justice system is in fact an injustice system.

18 ( +21 / -3 )

I for one hope that he gets the "lay" jury trial. Let the "people" decide the evidence!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

what is the purpose or outcome for this court day? no benefit at all for ghosn, a dumb show for the world.

9 ( +11 / -2 )

Japanese prosecutors don't care about the truth or getting the correct person they care about their 99% conviction rate and "saving face".

No foreign executive talent is ever going to come to Japan or come to the assistance of a Japanese company.

19 ( +24 / -5 )

I know I'm repeating myself, but lets sing to the tunes of "Frozen":

"Let him go, let him go,

if you got nothin' on him let him go!"

But as for now it's nothing but a big face-saving-circus for those prosecuters.

And the ones responsible for all this at Nissan should be more than ashamed!

3 ( +9 / -6 )

A lotta bored people with too much time wanted those 14 seats.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

Why not just put him under house arrest with an ankle bracelet? 

Not the Japanese way.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

And the longer he is forced to stay in detention, the more I think that don't have much on him but are searching desperately to save face.

19 ( +21 / -2 )

"I have a genuine love and appreciation for Nissan," said Ghosn.

Well it seems that the folks at Nissan didn’t have a genuine love for you mate. Betrayal of this caliber, the secretive and dramatic way you were taken down. Must be a hard pill to swallow. What doesn’t break you makes you stronger.

19 ( +21 / -2 )

Why not just put him under house arrest with an ankle bracelet? Though I believe he should be punished if convicted (for actually doing something illegal) but shouldn't be treated as a person who committed a crime of violence. I read his statement and it seems to make more sense than what is being said by prosecutors.

24 ( +26 / -2 )

There is no need to feed him rice everyday. He loves Nissan doesn't mean he loves what Nissan loves.

-6 ( +5 / -11 )

He lost 10 kilos in 7 weeks. He must be stoked! I'm really glad for him.

-11 ( +6 / -17 )

He may be going gray but I suspect he's been on the dye for many years - a man that old with so much black hair is not realistic.

But that is not very important. The main point us that he us being locked up on a weak charge and then held in detention for an utterly implausible reason about flight risk.

16 ( +18 / -2 )

While I don't automatically assume Ghosn is innocent of the charges, the extremely heavy handed approach taken by the prosecutors/Nissan smells very, very fishy. I hope he stays strong and that the whole truth comes out.

Is it too much to hope that this case might lead to reform of the criminal justice system in Japan?

27 ( +29 / -2 )

He’s in ‘rude’ health despite dropping 10 kilos and looking gaunt-really?

22 ( +23 / -1 )

Don’t be foreign and get into trouble in Japan. We will make an example of you, and treat you worse than our own.

25 ( +31 / -6 )

The clampdown on corporate criminals continues. Lock them up. No parole.

-29 ( +7 / -36 )

Stay strong Carlos, dont let them beat you into submission!

23 ( +27 / -4 )

Presiding Judge Yuichi Tada noted that Ghosn had "bases in foreign countries" and could "escape". Tada also said there were grounds to suspect he could tamper with evidence or induce others to. Based on this, "we decided there is a need for detention," said Tada.

And like his fellow "conspirator" Kelly wouldn't either?

More like the court (Japanese Government) being able to withstand criticism from the countries that Ghosen claims citizenship  (Brazilian- French and Lebanese) rather than Kelley (USA)

21 ( +23 / -2 )

If you want people to feel sorry for him because he is now living in detention and not his customary "high flying and lavish" lifestyle, I think you need to do better!

I for one, applaud his manner and demeanor, which I think will play with the court, showing deference and respect to Nissan and not getting angry. Holding his ground and not admitting to anything or signing any confessions, I hope he sticks with it!

I only feel "sorry" for him from the point that the person he mentored stabbed him in the back, and hope that he gets a fair and honest opportunity to fight back!

27 ( +31 / -4 )

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