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Ghosn not getting much help from France, analysts say

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By Clare Byrne

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Mrs. Ghosn was correct to leave Japan on her American passport. The Japanese knew about it, but didn't take it.

Only a fool would have any faith in a judicial system with procedures designed to extract confessions.

-7 ( +16 / -23 )

Chip StarToday  07:03 am JST

“Mrs. Ghosn was correct to leave Japan on her American passport. The Japanese knew about it, but didn't take it.”

Really? What would be the purpose of taking the Lebanese one if they knew about but purposely didn’t take also the US one? That makes no sense to me.

18 ( +23 / -5 )

France still hasn't grown a spine since WW2.

-13 ( +14 / -27 )

Nor much help from the Lebanese or Brazilian Governments!

19 ( +21 / -2 )

What a damning indictment of the Japanese judicial it is when even Japanese legal professionals don’t believe in its ability to conduct fair trials.

-3 ( +15 / -18 )

Really? What would be the purpose of taking the Lebanese one if they knew about but purposely didn’t take also the US one? That makes no sense to me.

Do you honestly think the Japanese government didn't know about her US passport? Seriously?

-11 ( +6 / -17 )

Chip Star, “Do you honestly think the Japanese government didn't know about her US passport? Seriously?“

I have ave no idea if they knew or not. But even if the government, as in immigration officials, knew, were the people searching the apartment, who were not from immigration as far as I know, aware of the US passport? How do you know, beyond your speculation, that those searching purposely left the US passport in her possession?

16 ( +18 / -2 )

I believe the Japanese government is likely well aware (at this point) of what passports all the main characters hold; especially Ghosn.

I thought Ghosn had voluntarily surrendered ALL of his passports as a condition of his bail.

There is not really much France can do in this situation. They can voice displeasure through back channels, etc. but in the grand scheme of international events we have to face the fact this is a very, very small issue (although those of us living in Japan do not think so).

Weighing the diplomacy concerns related to this I would imagine France will have no problem with the "cut and run" approach as it relates to Mr. Ghosn (Japan is not the only cut-throat country in the world...I think we all are well aware of that).

Renault is moving forward with Senard and forming a new alliance with Saikawa at the helm of Nissan (whether he stays we will need to see).

The Ghosn video did not change my opinion one way or another. I have no idea if he is guilty or innocent of a crime but I would imagine it will be proven he misused company funds. Whether he committed a crime should be proven in a court of law with a proper trial.

I am very much against the way this case has been handled and the process in Japan is antiquated however I think the nails on Mr. Ghosn's proverbial coffin are slowly being pounded in (rightly or wrongly so).

My biggest question is that Nissan auditors pointed this issue out several years ago and nothing was done about it. Some very serious questions must be asked of the Nissan Board of Directors and those in Management. Ghosn is not smart enough to fool them all (I do not think he fooled the auditors).

-3 ( +10 / -13 )

@TIJ

I don’t think France hasn’t grown a spine. Ghosn issues simply came at the wrong time. The French government is under fire from the people for favoring and protecting the rich and company CEOs.

Because of this current movement and issues surrounding it, it would be difficult for France to come to the aid of Ghosn when they are trying to say they are not protecting the rich and company CEOs.

21 ( +21 / -0 )

I have ave no idea if they knew or not. But even if the government, as in immigration officials, knew, were the people searching the apartment, who were not from immigration as far as I know, aware of the US passport? How do you know, beyond your speculation, that those searching purposely left the US passport in her possession?

Explain exactly how the police and prosecutors wouldn't have known about her US passport.

They have had the Ghosns under a microscope for how many months now?

How long has Mrs. Ghosn resided in Japan as an immigrant?

-11 ( +2 / -13 )

Few tears have shed for him in France. Contrast that with all the tears cried for him by his supporters here on JT.

20 ( +23 / -3 )

Le Borgne told BFM television: "I believe that if we want Carlos Ghosn to benefit from a trial carried out in respectable conditions, in line with our values... it would only be possible in France."

Japan lacks some values that are fundamental in the West? No way!

-13 ( +5 / -18 )

France would never put a millionaire in jail.

9 ( +15 / -6 )

The sad fact is most countries embassies/consulates are NOT set up to help their own people overseas etc. They are set up for two things primarily, diplomacy & big business...…...PERIOD!

One would have to have some sort of status, in a good or sympathetic way for most govts to do much of anything for a national. The only other obvious exception is when there is a natural disaster, but then all ones country's nationals then get an elevated status due to the situation, so they can receive help, other than that one is usually pretty much on their own!

I mean I often feel I am interrupting Embassy business when simply trying to re-new my passport

18 ( +18 / -0 )

The truth be told, there is very little France can do at this point, given diplomatic norms.

Ghosn has been arrested and charged under Japanese law. A central tenant of diplomatic relations is to not directly intervene in the legal affairs of other countries, particularly when we are talking about two members of the G-7. Particularly at this point, when the process is still ongoing.

Beyond that, as the article points out, Ghosn's compensation and alleged extravagances make this a hot potato for the French government, which is dealing with yellow vest protests and union protests. He doesn't exactly cut a sympathetic figure for the average French person.

This is only heightened by the fact that the French government has a large shareholding in Renault, which means that the French government is somewhat responsible for whatever compensation Ghosn has received.

HOWEVER, that does not mean they are unsympathetic. And, in particular, it is important to note the action taken in relation to Mrs. Ghosn.

His wife Carole received help from France's ambassador to Japan to flee Tokyo last week amid reports that investigators planned to question her also.

Despite her Lebanese passport being confiscated by Japanese authorities, Carole said she was able to use her US passport to board a flight and was accompanied by the ambassador to the airport.

"He didn't leave me until the plane," she told Le Journal du Dimanche weekly,

The fact that the French ambassador personally accompanied her to the airport and ensured she got on the plane is extraordinary. And one wonders why this is necessary.

Some posters have commented on whether J prosecutors knew about all of her passports. Here is my theory, although it is just a theory.

They may well have known of her multiple nationalities, but why would they only take her Lebanese passport? What good is taking that passport if the intent is to keep her in Japan if they knew she had multiple passports.

I believe they knew about her Lebanese passport because that was the passport she used to enter Japan and, therefore, they would had access to that information from Immigration. And that was the only passport they knew she had with her or at least the only one they cared about.

Why do I say that? If she entered on her Lebanese passport, that would have been the passport with her landing / entry stamp and, conversely, the one that she would have been required to use leaving the country. If she had shown up to the airport alone, with another passport, Immigration would have detained her / refused her exit because of the discrepancy.

Which is where the French Ambassador comes in. We don't know the details of what happened at the airport, but it is possible that his presence there allowed her to exit Japan on the U.S. passport even if she did not enter Japan on that passport. Basically, to avoid a diplomatic incident, Immigration and the Japanese MOJ were forced to let her leave.

Just a theory, but it would make sense.

One thing is for certain. She should never try to visit Japan ever again. Never ever.

-2 ( +10 / -12 )

@LB315 - I understand that "few tears" are shed in France but I would be willing to wager the great majority of French do not fully understand the incarceration system in Japan.

There are many of us here who still have no opinion of Ghosn's guilt or innocence but strongly disagree with the way the system operates.

I have no hatred of Japan or the people here; otherwise I would not be a Permanent Resident and long term resident.

To disagree with the way the justice system works is no reflection on how one feels about Japan or the Japanese people.

-2 ( +13 / -15 )

Why should he be getting any help - just because he's a rich business leader? Are all the other foreigners detained being given help - think not.

16 ( +18 / -2 )

@Tokyo-Engr, I appreciate your respectful response.

The West cannot just force its ways and values upon the rest of the world. The West does not own the world, it belongs to everyone, whether you like the ways of others or not.

5 ( +14 / -9 )

Why should he be getting any help - just because he's a rich business leader? Are all the other foreigners detained being given help - think not.

If he's the CEO of the company you own (Renault, a French government majority owned company), why wouldn't they help him???

10 ( +14 / -4 )

France govt would love to arrest him to appease the Yellow Vests. French people don’t like corrupt billionaires.

12 ( +15 / -3 )

Chip Star, “Explain exactly how the police and prosecutors wouldn't have known about her US passport. 

They have had the Ghosns under a microscope for how many months now?

How long has Mrs. Ghosn resided in Japan as an immigrant?”

It’s possible they didn’t know about her US passport if Carole Ghosn only ever used her Lebanese one in all dealings with Japan. I don’t know if she has resided in Japan or not, and if so, for how long. They’ve only been married a few years and he famously was constantly on the move between several countries. She wasn’t here when he was first arrested last year. I have no idea how much time she’s even spent in Japan. Do you?

14 ( +14 / -0 )

Of course not.

France couldn't punch its way out of a wet paper bag.

-15 ( +2 / -17 )

@Tokyo-Engr above

Agreed. The idea that anyone objecting to the Japanese justice system "hates Japan" is so puerile as to be barely worth debating. If you live in Japan long enough you will come across the phrases "shin-nichi" and "han-nichi" as if Japan is like some kind of dessert of chocolate flavor that one must either love or hate in its entireity, not a complex nation with various laws, customs and practices, some good, some terrible and some with all shades of gray in between.

As Tokyo-Engr rights, many of the permanent residents posting hear have lived in Japan for decades. They have Japanese spouses, children, in-laws and friends. How can you decide they "hate the Japanese people". It is a ridiculous assertion.

One of the reason long-term residents are more likely to be critical is precisely because they are more invested in Japan, not less. It is where they have built their lives and so, understandably, like anyone who lives anywhere, they would like the place they live in to keep on improving and striving to be better.

Another reason is that long-term residents are more likely to speak Japanese and understand the intricacies and complexities of their home. Many Japanese people also object to and want to change various aspects of Japanese society.

Among those who have shout from the rooftops that Japan is a perfect society, there are nationalist politicians (and their followers), who have a vested interest in preserving the status quo and convincing people life could not be better than it is now with them in charge. Then there are newbie foreign residents or fans of Japanese culture living overseas who know nothing about the realities of life in Japan. They generally underestimate the various issues the country faces in their desire to claim that Japan is always doing everything right and should not be subject to any criticism.

This kind of thinking is lazy and counterproductive.

From that perspective, it is sad to see many people willfully blind to the reality that justice in Japan is not dealt out with any sort of fairness. For example, the lawyer in the article, who states that Ghosn is receiving favorable treatment because certain Japanese politicians have been locked up for longer, is either being naive or willfully misleading. Do not accept his comment at face value.

Every single politician/official who has been locked up for the long term has been an enemy of or irritant to the ruling party at the time. Every single one. One only has to look at the recent case where taxpayers were defrauded of millions of dollars by government ministries selling off land to their friends at below market value.

Not a single official involved in this fraud has spent a day in custody. Away from the realm or politics, the same is true of the Takata airbag scandal that has results in dozens of people dying. Then their is TEPCO and the Fukushima disaster. And the Olympus fraud. And so it goes on.

The support for Ghosn here on JT is nothing to do with whether he is innocent or guilty. He may be either, we don't know. We can't know. However, his guilt has not yet been proven in a court of law and it is utterly silly and wrong to pretend that his treatment so far mirrors the treatment that a well-connected - and currently in favor -member of the ruling party would receive if under suspicion for wrongdoing.

-3 ( +13 / -16 )

Educator60 Today  07:09 am JST

What would be the purpose of taking the Lebanese one if they knew about but purposely didn’t take also the US one? That makes no sense to me.

Perhaps the Japanese prosecutors feared that the U.S. Embassy would raise Absolute Holy Hell if an American citizen (which is what she technically is) was having her passport confiscated even though she was not being charged with a crime.

The French and Lebanese reactions to those passports being confiscated was noticeably weak. But America's response may not have been, and perhaps the Japanese were wary of that.

Don't mess with the USA!

-12 ( +5 / -17 )

@LB315; I would like to clarify your comment.

For those of us living here;

a. We must agree with the judicial process and cannot disagree, and?

b. We must respect the judicial process and cannot show a lack of respect by disagreeing?

It is a point well worth debating.

Is this correct?

-4 ( +9 / -13 )

Jenni,

But why then would they even bother to take the Lebanese one, knowing she could leave on the US one? What purpose would taking only one of her passports serve?

10 ( +13 / -3 )

It amazes me that commentators here seem more interested in how Ms. Ghosn juggles her various passports that whether or not Japan is a functioning democracy with a fair judicial system.

I recommend we all gain some perspective on which issues are important and which are not.

-9 ( +7 / -16 )

They took her passport but didn't put her name on a no fly list?, someone didn't check the fax machine? Didn't know the French ambassador took her, but that makes sence as no country wants to hand its citizens Over to a disfuncianal legal system. Prosecutors are intent on getting a confession to save face, while loosing face in the process. At the start I said I hope they know what they're doing, and as it unravels it would appear they didn't and still don't. An apparently company wide acts of criminal actions and the only people arrested investigated are foreigners? Then go after family members? No lawyer present no interview recordings? 6am raids? This appears vindictive rather then professional.

-8 ( +8 / -16 )

LB315Today 08:56 am JST

If he's the CEO of the company you own (Renault, a French government majority owned company), why wouldn't they help him???

Just to correct that, the French government owns only 15% of Renault's shares.

-10 ( +3 / -13 )

@Educator60, no purpose. Tokyo prosecutors are just dumb. They probably didn’t verbally ordered their underlings to confiscate the passport, because that would be on record and can be used against them. But they can still claim its for evidence if they saw it during their search. They also cannot verbally ask Mrs. Ghosn to surrender her passports, so if the US passport is hidden well they could never have taken it.

-11 ( +4 / -15 )

Jpn_guy, lays it all out nicely at 09:12!!

It is amazing how many posters cant/refuse to comprehend that, quite scary actually!

-7 ( +6 / -13 )

I was struck Ghosn said, The lack of leadership is “very sickening.”

-10 ( +5 / -15 )

“Mrs. Ghosn was correct to leave Japan on her American passport. The Japanese knew about it, but didn't take it.”

Really? What would be the purpose of taking the Lebanese one if they knew about but purposely didn’t take also the US one? That makes no sense to me.

No, it still can make sense, just don't think that all of her passports is lying around in her room wait to be confiscated. First they need to find out what are nationalities she has and they need to find all of her passports if she carried at that time.

Despite her Lebanese passport being confiscated by Japanese authorities, Carole said she was able to use her US passport to board a flight and was accompanied by the ambassador to the airport.

Or she could simply ask her embassy to issue new emergency passport.

17 ( +17 / -0 )

Do you honestly think the Japanese government didn't know about her US passport? Seriously?

Do you think they know what are nationalities for foreigner that arrive in Japan? Unless that foreigner high profile criminal, they will just assume one nationality for each of one.

22 ( +22 / -0 )

They took her passport but didn't put her name on a no fly list?

Unless she is threat for flying safety, there's no reason to put her on a no fly list.

19 ( +19 / -0 )

Ghosn not getting much help from France

Try Lebanon or Brazil.

-12 ( +2 / -14 )

Not a single official involved in this fraud has spent a day in custody. Away from the realm or politics, the same is true of the Takata airbag scandal that has results in dozens of people dying. Then their is TEPCO and the Fukushima disaster. And the Olympus fraud. And so it goes on.

Recently they have IHI flawed jet engine safety inspection scandal but for Japanese law and media find Ghosn is much more interesting.

https://japantoday.com/category/business/malpractice-scandal-deepens-at-ihi%27s-jet-engine-business

-4 ( +9 / -13 )

Few tears have shed for him in France. Contrast that with all the tears cried for him by his supporters here on JT.

Haha you can say that again. The French seem to be far more emotionally strong.

Glad Mrs Ghosn's cowardly gambit failed too, as expected. She won't ever be coming back to Japan thankfully. Good news all round!

1 ( +11 / -10 )

They dictate to Africa, middle east and other developing countries about 'democracy' and 'human rights' have a ton of NGO offices abroad. Yet can't voice internationally about our crooked corrupt judicial system and Sue Nissan and save their own countryman. Is France really a democracy or just run by banks and corrupt lobbyists like here..

-9 ( +6 / -15 )

@Kenji: I guess you are sarcastic, and you know that France meddling in Africa and Middle East was never to protect "democracy"... It's all about $$$$

2 ( +8 / -6 )

Sakurasuki, “No, it still can make sense, just don't think that all of her passports is lying around in her room wait to be confiscated. First they need to find out what are nationalities she has and they need to find all of her passports if she carried at that time.”

I think you misunderstood my point. Chip Star believes the Japanese authorities also knew about her US passport when they seized only her Lebanese one. I am not convinced that was the case.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

It is clear to me all is about business in that story. Ghosn is crushed but will survive.

He should know better about Japan where a single mistake can force you to do seppuku.

France is still led by people of power that most French resent, hence the yellow vests.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

@LB315; I would like to clarify your comment.

For those of us living here;

a. We must agree with the judicial process and cannot disagree, and?

b. We must respect the judicial process and cannot show a lack of respect by disagreeing?

It is a point well worth debating.

Is this correct?

You can disagree with their system or any system, no problem there. But there are too many posts on JT trying to shove western ways down Japanese throat. Maybe not you, but way too many are like, Western way is the right way and the only way. I'm sick of that mentality.

5 ( +9 / -4 )

Just to correct that, the French government owns only 15% of Renault's shares.

On the news, they kept saying French government is the majority owner of Renault group. Don't know what percentage, but even 15% can be majority if indeed, that is the largest share held by one entity.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

But to get back to my point, the French government should, be coming to Ghosn's aid. The fact that they don't, says something.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

//

@ seadog538

Nor much help from the Lebanese or Brazilian Governments!

//

Good question, but since Elephant & House gone under water then what the mouse will do???

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

Glad Mrs Ghosn's cowardly gambit failed too, as expected. She won't ever be coming back to Japan thankfully. Good news all round!

Not cowardly, but very smart!!

-5 ( +4 / -9 )

@LB315, Western way may not be the rightest way, but Japan certainly is NOT. So let's stop pretending that Japan is in line with the first world countries, because it is not, at least when we talk about justice. Japan's justice system is nothing to be proud of, so why I wonder, some are so proud of it?

-3 ( +6 / -9 )

One thing that so many of us know and allude to is the fact that current Japanese judicial system is, literally, stuck in the 19th century, meaning the 1800s.

This is a FACT!!

Whilst there have been tweaks on the margins, the core law underpinning the system and, indeed, the framework, traces back to the Meiji era!!

Whether family law or criminal code or even the entire framework, the last 150 years have changed little. And the U.S. imposed Constitution really is nothing more than window-dressing!!

The framework, the law, and the institutions that currently inform the Ghosn case are truly a product of the 19th century. With all of the accompanying deficiencies!!

Regardless of what any observer may think, including those in this forum, that is the case!

And that is driving this case! Ghosn's case and its handling is being driven by this very fact!!

-4 ( +6 / -10 )

pitty. this is all at the very least Putinesque. let the suspect be judged in a fair trial. On the process so far violations of own constitution and of the signed covenant to human rights. Publically lots of hay by the media. with soy.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

jpn guy...great comprehensive post.

-2 ( +6 / -8 )

Jpn guy spot on.

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

One thing that so many of us know and allude to is the fact that current Japanese judicial system is, literally, stuck in the 19th century, meaning the 1800s.

Sorry but the Japanese Code of Criminal Procedure was established in 1948. The preceding Chiji-ho that was established in 1880 was abolished after the war.

7 ( +10 / -3 )

Why would the Japanese confiscate the Lebanese passport and not the US passport? Extradition treaties.

https://www.google.com/amp/s/en.annahar.com/article/amp/907369/lebanon-seeking-to-extradite-ghosn

But I'm sure it was just incompetence by the Japanese authorities.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

I think you misunderstood my point. Chip Star believes the Japanese authorities also knew about her US passport when they seized only her Lebanese one. I am not convinced that was the case.

It defies reasonableness to think the Japanese didn't know about her passport given she's an immigrant living in this country and they've had Ghosn under a microscope for at least 4 months.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

I have a feeling French ambassador had kept her US passport.  He escorted her to the airport.

0 ( +6 / -6 )

Do you think they know what are nationalities for foreigner that arrive in Japan? Unless that foreigner high profile criminal, they will just assume one nationality for each of one.

Do you think competent investigators would have overlooked Mrs. Ghosn' passports after she popped up as the head of shell corporations that Ghosn allegedly used to embezzle cash?

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

Legally, the passport is the property of Lebanon. Lebanon will request it's property returned through diplomatic channels and International Law (which Japan often quotes these ) days.

Really it further adds proof of Japans hostage justice system.

The Japanese authorities have shown utter disrespect.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Enough with the back and forth arguing already. 0% of you know whether Mr. Ghosn is guilty or innocent. Stop pretending you do. For those of you who were aware of the shady justice system in Japan, congrats - stop complaining about something you already knew was bad and won't change. For those of you who came here with blinders on, you only have yourself to blame. Get over it.

As for Mrs. Ghosn, who cares how many passports she has/had. She left Japan to try and pull strings to get her husband special treatment that nobody else sitting in the same lock are are getting or able to request.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

For those of you who were aware of the shady justice system in Japan, congrats - stop complaining about something you already knew was bad and won't change. For those of you who came here with blinders on, you only have yourself to blame. Get over it.

i think that people expected better of Japan.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

The situation is complex not to say embarrassing for the French government for 3 reasons:

1) Current political situation with mid/low income people demonstration (yellow vests).

2) Business success and bosses (patrons) have always been seen as suspicious mass exploitation even from small companies. Unlike sportsmen or artists that make 10-times more money just entertaining (this is a kind of global trend including in Japan).

3) And the most embarrassing is the involvement of France in Renault capital. The share increased (and doubling the voting right) a few years ago was made by Macron when he was MoF under previous government. That is what triggered really the Nissan reaction. Ghosn was against this and now he is paying for it. Then Ghosn is the scapegoat of Nissan and the French government, i.e. win-win (except for one).

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Chip Star, “It defies reasonableness to think the Japanese didn't know about her passport given she's an immigrant living in this country and they've had Ghosn under a microscope for at least 4 months.”

Thats merely your opinion. You’ve not shown anything to convince us that’s it’s so. Is Carole Ghosn really an immigrant here? Had she ever lived in Japan before she recently joined her husband when he was released on bail?

Apparently Carole has returned to Tokyo, where, according to this article, she’s been living since March.

https://asia.nikkei.com/Business/Nissan-s-Ghosn-crisis/Ghosn-s-wife-returns-to-Tokyo-for-questioning-in-misconduct-probe

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Japan lacks some values that are fundamental in the West?

Really? Like Shooting blacks in the face 25 times? LOL

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

JenniSchiebelApr. 10  09:19 am JST

Tell that to Greg Kelly, Gosen's inmate buddy

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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