Carlos Ghosn's November 19 arrest in Tokyo shook the business world, where he has long been a highly regarded top executive Photo: AFP
crime

Prosecutors to indict Nissan as well as Ghosn: report

47 Comments
By Toshifumi Kitamura

Tokyo prosecutors have decided to indict Nissan as well as its former chairman Carlos Ghosn and another executive as early as next week over alleged financial misconduct, a report said Friday.

The report comes amid speculation that Ghosn and his right-hand man Greg Kelly will face new allegations related to under-reporting of the auto titan's compensation.

The pair were arrested on November 19 on suspicion of conspiring to understate Ghosn's pay by some five billion yen ($44 million) in official filings during the five years up to March 2015.

The Nikkei business daily reported Friday that Ghosn and Kelly would likely be indicted on those allegations as soon as Monday, when their current detention period expires.

The daily said prosecutors had decided that Nissan was also responsible for the alleged financial wrong-doing and would bring charges against the firm.

Under Japanese law, prosecutors can hold suspects for up to 22 days while investigating a single allegation. But they can seek an additional 22 days of detention for each new accusation against a suspect.

Reports suggest Ghosn and Kelly could face a new accusation related to under-reporting of the former chairman's compensation by another four billion yen ($35.5 billion) over the last three years.

The new accusation is also expected to be announced next week.

Japanese prosecutors said they could not comment on the report and Nissan said only that it was cooperating with the prosecutor's office.

"The company has been... fully cooperating with its investigation. We will continue to do so," spokesman Nicholas Maxfield told AFP.

Neither Ghosn nor Kelly have yet been officially charged, and they deny any wrongdoing.

Ghosn's Nov 19 arrest in Tokyo shook the business world, where he has long been a highly regarded top executive. In Japan, Ghosn was celebrated as a charismatic business leader who saved Nissan from the brink of failure and rebuilt it as a money-making subsidiary of Renault.

But since his shock arrest, he has been removed from the boards of Nissan and Mitsubishi Motors. Nissan has begun the process of choosing Ghosn's successor, with the final decision expected on Dec 17.

© 2018 AFP

©2018 GPlusMedia Inc.

47 Comments
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Now the accused can all blame each other.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Ghosn is going to have the most depressing Christmas and New Year's of his life.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

Now , watch the mal-alchemy of a governmental institution of " justice " use legalities to execute illegalities.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

and another executive as early as next week

Saikawa?

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Reminds me of a circular firing squad. Ironically, the only one likely to emerge from this morass least unscathed is Ghosn.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

I wonder whether this news reveals that Ghosn has managed to push the blame onto Nissan.

After all, he did not avoid tax on actual income or anything. So it appears to come down to the accounts.

If he deliberately took steps to ensure that this future liability was excluded from the accounts of Nissan then he is probably guilty of fraud. If Nissan did it alone, then probably not.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

It is easy to prove someone guilty if he has taken billions yen from a company.

It is another matter to wrongly apply law about yourself when it is validated by another person who is the only competent and certified one.

Wait and see but it is going to be a nice boxing match.

That justice prevails !

6 ( +6 / -0 )

and another executive as early as next week

Saikawa?

They are talking about Kelly. Notice how they are indicting "Nissan" and not the Japanese executives!

8 ( +10 / -2 )

Hahaha... Ghosn and Kelly will get serious punishment, Nissan will have to bow and say "We'll be transparent from now on, and the execs will give a 30% reduction in one month's pay up, which will be put towards their bonuses in a few weeks," (last part not spoken out loud).

10 ( +12 / -2 )

Life is a marathon not a sprint, a globally respected negotiator VS Japan's finest, most astute "best" educated at least as far as the civil service exam goes? He has some time to reflect on his bizarre predicament and as his confinement is probably a cathartic one for him, can't imagin he will allow himself to plummet into a crying mess. It's a challenge, one he now has to embrace. I imagin his plans involve making a mockery of the system (not that hard) and drawing his adversaries out of the dark into the sweet light of uncomfortable public scrutiny.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Well, if they are going to indict the company, shouldn’t that mean every executive with knowledge of the wrongdoings should be in a cell next to Ghosn? It seems quite unfair to have these two in a cell when many others were involved.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

I also think Karma is coming his way since he laid off thousands of employees to save Nissan.

-10 ( +1 / -11 )

My guess is all the major players will be spending time behind bars. That means the new CEO, his senior staff, the accountants and the legal people as well. And very likely there will be a few tell all books that will cause Nissan's board and senior people to become very nervous concerning extradition overseas and limit their travels to the Japanese archipelago.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

If karma is coming his way then also the karma for having saved employment for tens of thousands of workers and employees. More than were laid off.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

I also think Karma is coming his way since he laid off thousands of employees to save Nissan.

because you know he shouldnt have laid off anybody , Nissan would have gone bankrupt and the whole 150000 Nissan workforce would have been at risk of loosing their jobs. that about sums up your logic!

12 ( +12 / -0 )

This guy is a tough number: imagine, after nearly 22 days in the gallows and another 22 days coming? I'm baffled at the ferocious ways of the japanese system. It's really trying to obtain admissions through heavy mistreatments... Shameful.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

It was unfortunate for Ghosn he did not know about the judicial system of Japan in advance. Now, all foreigners will be careful before they commit crimes in Japan.

-19 ( +0 / -19 )

3 month salary cut, loss of bonus for a year, 90 degree bows, temporary demotion...

Jail time is rare. Just look at Toshiba, Mitsubishi, TEPCO, Olympus, and the rest of them...

6 ( +7 / -1 )

It was unfortunate for Ghosn he did not know about the judicial system of Japan in advance. Now, all foreigners will be careful before they commit crimes in Japan.

Now all foreigners will be careful conducting business with Japan.

Such blatantly racist, primitive law/ rule of law can onl be harmful to Japan. Whatever happens next, I think the damage has been done.

11 ( +12 / -1 )

Judicial system is not universal. Each country has its own system. I wonder whether foreigners are given a book or a pamphlet that explains the judicial system when they enter Japan? I think that is necessary. Criticizing the Japanese judicial system is too late after you are arrested.

-14 ( +0 / -14 )

Good job, this time, I must say . there are some wise people in the prosecutors team. Wise decision to get Nissan too. All good hard-working people will support the wise ones. But 2 people are missing , The new President & his team , mate. We must remember that he know all this events and use them to his advantage. No good Japanese will support Nissan if the new president and His team do not get out of Nissan. Japanese must know, a traitor is a traitor, call uragirimono. We cannot have another 20 years with another person like that. Think about all the future of good Japanese & foreign people and all children.

-10 ( +0 / -10 )

But we're not arrested yet.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Judicial system is not universal. Each country has its own system. I wonder whether foreigners are given a book or a pamphlet that explains the judicial system when they enter Japan? I think that is necessary. Criticizing the Japanese judicial system is too late after you are arrested.

I do not agree with such moral relativism. The judicial system in certain countries is inferior to others, and Japan's is one such.

I am not sure it is useful to give people a handbook when they enter Japan as I doubt they have any intention on getting incarcerated when they enter the country.

Criticizing the Japanese judicial system is too late after you are arrested.

Actually, we are having a great opportunity to show Japan's medieval justice system to the world. And the world is remembering that Japan was still in the middle ages just over 150 years ago, so perhaps has not had time to mature.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

It is very clear that Ghosn understated his income 2011 - 2018. Total is 8 billion. News say he signed on some documents of retirement that he will receive 8 billion plus $$ when he retires. This is an evidence. Kelly is a lawyer and probably helped this wrongdoings. Ghosn and Kelly would be convicted. Trial takes years. They may be in jail for 8-10 years finally.

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

Schopenhauer...."each country has its own system." Like the Democratic Republic of Congo, North Korea, Venezuela, China, and Iran. They all have their own system. No, mate... Their systems suck,and so does yours. Civilization has reached a point where any thinking person can see that the natural law principles of Western Judeao-Christian countries trump other backward systems. Like your backward system. Many Japanese agree with me. Your country is living in Edo-jidai.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

I am not going to believe a damn word about his guilt or innocence without a PROPER trial with a proper judge and a proper jury and follow the proper procedures.

Japanese people don't understand what a "trial" is. Their trials have a 99% conviction rate. That is not a trial. That is a sentence hearing.

No. I will not believe anything anyone says unless it is in a REAL court, not a fake Japanese one.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

If the system is so great! Why feel the need to defend it? If this were a Japanese citizen confined without charge daily interrogated. Would you just shrug your shoulders...Shogani. No I don't think so, the absurdity of this is obvious the corruption palatable. A company were unhappy that the future was in the hands of a foreign CEO asked the government for help and now we are where we are. Citing other countries is equally absurd as the only comparable examples are dictator led nations...you might be right as the the LDP have been in power longer than the CCP.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Ghosn took light of Japan conceited with his successes. He thought he could drive his car freely in Japan. People have to know rules before they drive a car.

-9 ( +0 / -9 )

Honestly, it's not Gohsn on trial, it's the Japanese justice system. They are foolish if think they can shrug off international opinions about their backwards justice system.

This foolishness is going to scare away investors from Japan. Who wants to risk investing or working in a country that has such a terrible justice system?

No everyone is focused on the wrong thing. This is going to have HUGE economic consequences for Japan as they scare away foreign investors.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Schopenhauer...your emotional defense of Japan's judicial system is so.... Japanese. Hope you are never mistakenly arrested in China for a crime you didn't commit! Good luck!

10 ( +10 / -0 )

So he will be blamed twice ?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Sounds like a reason to extend his detention after finding no evidence of wrong doing with regards to the first period of detention...

Welcome to Japan.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Judicial system is not universal. Each country has its own system. I wonder whether foreigners are given a book or a pamphlet that explains the judicial system when they enter Japan? I think that is necessary. Criticizing the Japanese judicial system is too late after you are arrested.

A pamphlet is not necessary. Jim office websites are freely available in most countries. But I have the book : Bridge House by Peter Clague (1983) describing conditions for prisionersi at Bridge House, Shanghai during WW2.

Minus the waterboarding and parrilla, the are still striking similarities. Detention without charge, kept in appauling conditions to "soften up prisioners" interrogated every 10 days (interesting regarding 10 day extensions to detention today), isolation from the outside world.

One thing that is universal though, detention without charge is a breach of human rights in any democracy. I thought that Japan had signed up to the UN resolution of human rights. Japans education system actually teaches humanities.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

When JT reports on the Nissan . Ghosn debacle, I wonder if they have to Ghosn's picture.

He always has this sinister look in his eyes.

You just kind of want to avoid the whole paper.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

Nissan means also Ghosn.  He was so powerful that nobody was able to say no to him without risking their positions.

-11 ( +0 / -11 )

The concerned prosecutors will search all possible ways to formulate new accusations. They will do everything they can to prevent Ghosn be released, they are really afraid about their image already affected by their practice of mental torture. Fortunatly, in ournowadays  communicating world, huge number of fair people eyes are well open and many papers express sharp critics about the used abnormal practices (even if the place of such practices is Japan: widely respected as a very civilized country)

1 ( +2 / -1 )

@Schopenhauer - I wonder whether foreigners are given a book or a pamphlet that explains the judicial system when they enter Japan? 

You don't need a pamphlet. All you need is a little card stating, "In Japan, you are guilty until proven innocent. Enjoy your stay (in prison)"

6 ( +7 / -1 )

There are always holes for men to dig. Nissan isn't exceptional.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

Nissan means also Ghosn. He was so powerful that nobody was able to say no to him without risking their positions.

I am a little puzzled in the relevance of this comment.

It sounds more like "it is not the fault of we poor little Japanese victims being bullied by big bad foreigners".

The victim complex is convenient when foreigners are involved which is probably why there seem to be two types of prosecutors in Japan, those for Japanese citizen and those for foreigners. (gaii kensatsu)

Of course Japan's seemingly useless inept judges will rubber stamp the notion of the Japanese being victims when foriegners are involved. This allows a plaintiff to demand more compensation than is usual, or a higher fine than usual when a foreigner is involved

Actually, many years ago a prosecutor (for foreigners) told me that he was in charge of allied prisioners during WW2.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

The case against Ghosn boils down to one thing: Did he actively prevent the disclosure of 'material information' (i.e., information that would significantly affect an investor's decision).

Does executive salary constitute 'material information'? Well, theoretically, it's possible that some investors might balk at investing in a company if they think too much of the funds go on executive pay.

But if that were the case, you'd expect shareholders to sell their shares in shock; as it happens, shares have kind of rallied, which undermines the argument that Ghosn's executive pay is a critical determinant of an investor's decision.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

So anoth case of cooking the books, so they hung Ghosn out to dry only for it to come back and haunt them, name and shame those involved! Saikawa...

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Time for executives to pop off to their Singapore apartments for an extended holiday. In about 6 months, everything will be forgotten.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Do the Hustle: "It seems quite unfair to have these two in a cell when many others were involved."

Welcome to Japan. The others will get pay bumps and at worst have to "retire" to other high paying jobs where they'll just shrug and repeat. They won't be charged, nor will they see a jail cell. Many here are extremely upset it took a foreigner -- and in other cases, too -- to turn the company around and save it, and this is how they overreact if given the chance. Look at Schopenhauer's comment: "Now foreigners will be more careful before committing crimes in Japan." Not a comment about the crimes and scandal in general; no mention of how Japanese were obviously involved. And certainly no mention of how they should be treated (inadvertently pointing out that they will NOT be more careful nor change at all). They're angry, so the foreigners are the scapegoats for ALL of that anger. The companies will suffer and have to be saved again in the future, but in the mean time they'll flounder. Look at Mitsubishi at the moment. And now Nissan has to recall MILLIONS of vehicles.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Foregone conclusion, really - but how are they going to take Nissan into custody, and how long will it be held before being charged?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Seems Saikawa has been half hearted for some time:

http://gintruth.com/gnt/wpver/?p=3781

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I really hope Nissan goes bankrupt. I really do. And that lots of Japanese lose their jobs. They will get new jobs of course, when people who know how to run successful companies....maybe Toyota, BMW, even Ford...buy up the remains and re-employ them. They could also maybe sue Saikawa for every penny for destruction of the company.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

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