crime

Ghosn's wife fears his trial may be unfair

62 Comments
By Yuri Kageyama

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62 Comments
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It is quite obvious that it is a mental attack designed to elicit a confession.

If the prosecution had incriminating documents from Nissan showing criminal activity then there would have been a trial with Carlos Ghosn in gaol now-there aren’t.

18 ( +24 / -6 )

Worry about a fair trial? I'd say don't worry. Fear it. There is not a chance at all it will be fair. They have the decision already now prosecutors just have to make their evidence fit. Being innuendo or unnamed sources. The system can't be allowed to lose face. But on the upside in 30 odd years it will be found that on technical errors he will gain a retrial. When he is 100 odd.

18 ( +23 / -5 )

The wife of Carlos Ghosn, the former chairman of Nissan and Renault, said Wednesday she is worried whether her husband, detained in Japan on financial misconduct allegations, will receive a fair trial, and expressed outrage over a justice system that dragged him back into custody.

Even his arrest has showed that system is unfair in the first place in Japan.

Executives from Toshiba, Olympus, Takata,, KYB, IHI, Kobe Steel and many others already admit their scandal and evidence is out there. How many of them get arrested?

20 ( +27 / -7 )

“Carole Ghosn said she was worried about his health because he has been weakened by the long detention and is not getting enough sunlight.”

Whats happening with his chronic kidney failure problem featured in an earlier article here? Is he now getting the required treatment?

12 ( +13 / -1 )

Most people here change the subject and criticize Japan's judicial system putting aside the problems of Ghosn incurred. Ghosn became arrogant from his early success. It is more difficult to control oneself than control others. That is the pitfall many heroes are likely to fall in.

-18 ( +7 / -25 )

Unfair is an understatement. Prosecutors being able to seize defense attorney's documents relating to how the defense will be conducted before the trial is absolutely insane! They are effectively stopping the defense being able to prepare their case and are also able to counter any defense strategy well in advance of a trial. It's like being given the answers to a test prior to the event. Being guilty until you prove your innocence is not a justice system. It is a kangaroo court system that should not exist in a so-called 'modern' country. The Japanese prosecutors must be seriously hopeless if they have to stoop so low to achieve a conviction. Japan brags about its high conviction rate. However, the kangaroo court system an indefinite detention with endless interrogation designed to force a confession in a guilty until proven innocent injustice system leads to many false confessions and incorrect convictions.

23 ( +28 / -5 )

She was also recently questioned in a Japanese court.

Huh? News reported she was questioned by prosecutors, when did court start?

5 ( +9 / -4 )

Japan's system of "justice" is so disgusting and corrupt that there is not a chance in hell that Ghosn will get a fair trial. Prosecutors and judges work together as part of the same team. The Ghosn verdict has already been decided. The prosecutors/judges team cannot lose face is all they care about. No Foreign executive will want to work in japan that's for sure.

20 ( +24 / -4 )

Ghosn became arrogant from his early success.

Arrogance, greed an entitlement are not criminal offences. The Ghosn affair just shows, that the whole of Japan Inc is thoroughly corrupt. Not only the numerous companies caught with fraud, cheating and falsifying data, but the whole system supporting it, including and especially the judiciary.

17 ( +21 / -4 )

Ghosn will get a fair trial. No doubt about that. Unlike in France where the rich and powerful often get away with wrongdoings, the law applies to everyone in Japan. I just wondered. Did Ghosn get his bail money back?

-24 ( +7 / -31 )

The Japanese have no answers for the medieval methods used to throw out the concept of innocent until proven guilty. Just ask Sugaya Toshikazu.

All the commentators here can only say but Carlos bought a yacht, threw a wedding party, and so on. Nothing to answer their rigged system to save face. Deflect, deflect, deflect.

12 ( +19 / -7 )

Ghosn's wife fears his trial may be unfair

she's right

16 ( +23 / -7 )

The only way that Japan's draconian methods could be brought to task is if Ghosn were to die in jail. Beyond that, we all know he'll be found guilty one way or another. He's been thrown to the "wolves" by the French who don't need him.They still have the major controlling stake in Nissan,so they're happy. Barbaric, but not totally surprising.The Japanese system of law is more akin's to China's than westerners.And we know how they roll.

9 ( +17 / -8 )

His wife recalled the scene of his rearrest earlier this month, saying 20 prosecutors came into their Tokyo apartment at 5:50 a.m., when she was still in her pajamas, and seized her cell phone, passport and documents that defense lawyers had been preparing for the trial.

Although such seizures might lead to a mistrial in the U.S., prosecutors are allowed such actions in Japan, legal experts say. Early morning arrests and raids are routine in Japan.

Absolutely Medieval.

11 ( +17 / -6 )

"Ghosn's wife fears his trial may be unfair"

Yeah right. that is what every crook says. You and your hubby are going down!!!!!

-30 ( +3 / -33 )

How can anyone get a fair trial when they are treated as being guilty until they can prove their innocence? There is nothing ‘fair’ about a justice system that can lock people up indefinitely and interrogate them endlessly without the presence of legal counsel until they confess, whether they are guilty of a crime or not.

20 ( +24 / -4 )

@alwayspeakingwisdom fair point, but calling out injustice is always a good thing. Be it a millionaire or a homeless person be they back or white injustice has to be commented on. It's Japan we are talking about not the US. No attorney present, no recording of questioning the court accepts "confessions" even when the accused says they were forced. And the confession written by the the prosecution. As I learn more I fear more...I don't want to live in fear, neither do you. I like my life in Japan but I fear any interaction with authorities. That's not right.

16 ( +18 / -2 )

@Cricky

No attorney present, no recording of questioning, the court accepts "confessions" even when the accused says they were forced. And the confession written by the prosecution. As I learn more I fear more...I don't want to live in fear, neither do you. I like my life in Japan but I fear any interaction with authorities. That's not right.

Absolutely right. Couldn't agree more.

14 ( +17 / -3 )

It will be unfair.

15 ( +19 / -4 )

The rules of what can be construed as fair ‘judicial’ procedure are absent in Japan.That being the case, then any and all prosecutorial evidence should be taken with a pinch of salt!

11 ( +13 / -2 )

His trial won't only be unfair, it will be silly and lacking in something most other countries consider necessary for prosecution, evidence.

19 ( +23 / -4 )

SchopenhauerToday 07:27 am JST

"...Most people here change the subject and criticize Japan's judicial system putting aside the problems of Ghosn incurred....."

Schopenheur, didn't you read the article. In particular it criticizes the ability of Japan's judiciary to put on a "Fair Trial" (it's in the title).

And in addition, amongst other things, the article mentioned how Ghosn's defense has been compromised by the seizing of his lawyers documents, which in most democracies would rule the case as broken - a big miss.

The subject hasn't changed at all. In fact the judicial system is only going to come under further intense scrutiny, both domestically and internationally, as the trial approaches.

If anyone doesn't want to hear such reports they'd better unplug now, coz the first firework has yet to be lit.

11 ( +14 / -3 )

Ghosn believed all are following after him but one day he found nobody behind him except his family. He lacked virtues as a leader.

-22 ( +2 / -24 )

How can this be a Fair Trial??

Now there seems some politicians close to prime minster Abe has been involved in this since May 2018 reported by a France journalist.

11 ( +14 / -3 )

Have a very high regard for the Japanese people and culture, but believe they deserve a fairer justice system towards the rights of the accused. The system is totally rigged towards the prosecution and this there is a 98% conviction rate and that conviction rate is considered as a source of pride by the state, utilized against their own people. An unfair justice system indeed.

10 ( +13 / -3 )

Why isn't this through an international court? Why isn't Macaron doing anything?

6 ( +10 / -4 )

 It is more difficult to control oneself than control others. That is the pitfall many heroes are likely to fall in.

oh like all the heros of Toshiba, Olympus, Takata,, KYB, IHI, Kobe Steel, various Japanese banks government officials. they clearly couldnt control themselves, how many where put into detention , confessions forced or even spent time in prison for their crimes. Justice in Japan is hypocritical at best

12 ( +14 / -2 )

For his sake I hope the trial starts soon. I anticipate the worst case scenario is that he gets convicted with a suspended sentence and he could have avoided all of this by cooperating from the get go. I guess it shows his lack of understanding of Japanese culture and the legal system. Once you are indicted you must confess or else the process up to trial itself is the punishment if you defy the authorities.

-9 ( +0 / -9 )

She came to know about this NOW? Before it's too late!

Smart person doesn't bother to be in the circle of media. He/She choses retirement from all. Very simple yet smart choice we have in our life yet complicates everything.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

@Reckless. Once you are indicted you must confess or else the process up to trial itself is the punishment if you defy the authorities.

Yes, it does seem the J system works this way (say you are sorry and pay up) but is this fit with the values of society now? I think not but it would be interesting to find out if this is the view of most in the society here.

9 ( +11 / -2 )

Like I have been saying for years the Japan ""justice system"" is the DREAM of dictators WORLDWIDE!

What the prosecution did was utterly DISPICABLE!!!

11 ( +13 / -2 )

Good article here, though the author overlooks the difference in the presentation of evidence, on which Western justice systems rely, and on confessions, on which JApan relies:

https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2019/04/17/national/crime-legal/examining-carlos-ghosn-japans-system-hostage-justice/#.XLfb7C-B1TY

2 ( +5 / -3 )

No Foreign executive will want to work in japan that's for sure.

That's not a bug; that's a feature.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

There is no worry about the justice system with people unless they are on the borderline.

-13 ( +3 / -16 )

“seized her cell phone, passport and documents that defense lawyers had been preparing for the trial.”

Were they seized under a warrant? What was the basis for this seizure?

I doubt too it would be a fair trial with all the leaks and comments from Nissan, court of public opinion probably already made up its mind.

10 ( +13 / -3 )

Ghosn's wife fears his trial may be unfair

Of course his trail will be unfair. This is Japan.

12 ( +14 / -2 )

@aust. It is normal procedure to gather evidence before a trial.

-9 ( +2 / -11 )

@dead. France has a barrow load of evidence. Just, japanese system is to beauracratic and proud to allow another country to say I told you so.

-8 ( +3 / -11 )

RecklessToday 10:35 am JST

For his sake I hope the trial starts soon. I anticipate the worst case scenario is that he gets convicted with a suspended sentence and he could have avoided all of this by cooperating from the get go. I guess it shows his lack of understanding of Japanese culture and the legal system. Once you are indicted you must confess or else the process up to trial itself is the punishment if you defy the authorities.

Reckless - you appear to have missed the obvious in your assessment of the situation - what if he is innocent, if not of all charges, many of them, why would he want to confess???

I'm sure he has a complete understanding of the system and culture after having lived and worked here for 2 decades and having been advised by high level Japanese lawyers.

In fact it's probably because of his understanding of the Japanese judicial system and culture that he has acted this way to date.

Being bullied into a false confession is not likely to be what constitutes acceptable behaviour on his behalf.

8 ( +11 / -3 )

Fair? Lol. Only by looking at the things right now, how they were from the start, you can safely say that this whole ‘adventure’ with Ghosn it’s just a ridiculous farce, a mockery of every Justice system in the world.

This is trully discusting for a country as Japan and a huge shame and dishonor.

11 ( +14 / -3 )

Well, Mr. Ghosn's second 10 day detention extention should expire soon.

What are our rubber stamping, scared little rabbit judges going to do now. Lets all see.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

@gooodluck

My query was under what power were those items seized? I thought they went there to lock Carlos up.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

@browny1: "Reckless - you appear to have missed the obvious in your assessment of the situation - what if he is innocent, if not of all charges, many of them, why would he want to confess???

I'm sure he has a complete understanding of the system and culture after having lived and worked here for 2 decades and having been advised by high level Japanese lawyers."

Could be, but he might want to confess to some charges to get the heck out of jail! He will never get these hundreds of days back and his job is gone anyways.

You would be surprised how ignorant many expats are about the Japanese system, especially narcissists. It is not uncommon for long term residents from Western countries to not even be able to read the kanjis for days of the week. Lol.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

I don't understand how they can just steal evidence and notes from the defence, what sort of power is this?

5 ( +9 / -4 )

I agree, the Japan justice system is a shame for Japan which otherwise is a great country with a lot of great people. If the prosecutors want, they can almost get anyone convicted the way this hostile system is today. The layers in Japan is very concern about this, but unfortunately they don’t raise their voice. I am a little surprised the Japanese don’t think this is bad or maybe they just don’t understand it…. 

However, many high-profile politicians or their aids has been through it, so some have the experience.

About the conviction rate of 99% which seem great from the prosecutor’s side.

It will be interested to know what the number would be if this was actually based on the conviction the “bad” guys are brought in for.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

The Washington Post published her appeal.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/global-opinions/my-husband-carlos-ghosn-is-innocent-of-it-all/2019/04/17/57ec43e6-6140-11e9-bfad-36a7eb36cb60_story.html

It concludes

"Please, President Trump, please ask Abe to resolve this injustice."

Not obvious to me why Trump should intervene to help a French citizen when the French government clearly has no interest in doing so.

It is also not obvious to me why an American newspaper should be so interested in alleged injustice in Japan when there is so much of it in Washington, D. C., one of the most segregated cities in the US.

As a regular reader of the WaPo, I don't ever recall seeing the wife of a black, Hispanic, or poor white American being given a platform for appealing to the US president even to help American citizens.

Could it be that Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon and sole owner of the Washington Post, is looking out for another wealthy, white, fat cat?

-6 ( +2 / -8 )

@bullfighter: She holds a US passport and most likely US citizenship, I actually don't think she has French citizenship.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

@aust. It’s a very serious case with worldwide ramifications. It must be thoroughly investigated. Otherwise, hey, come to japan, be a serious criminal and nothing will happen if you are a foreigner with 4 passports, unlimited off shore companies owned by your wife and son.

wait until the trial. All be come out. Japan doesn’t reduct information like other countries

-7 ( +2 / -9 )

Last Saturday,

from report about Japanese judicial system on news show of Japan's TBS.

former Japanese judge said : "Judges are obedient to prosecutors basically". "Many one side information from prosecutors through mainstream media makes dominant social atmosphere that many suspects should be guilty and Judges are difficult to ignore it"." 'Hostage Justice' is crafty strategy that Japanese prosecutors spent several decades to have built.it will be very difficult to correct it".

former prosecutors of Tokyo district said : "Recently, Judges are not always obedient to prosecutors".

that is to say,

for a long time,Japanese prosecutors had been able to control Judges and trials until now.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

mu-da:

Arrogance, greed an entitlement are not criminal offences. 

Perhaps it is bigger offence in the people's sense of justice here. Nezumi Kozo (1797 - 1831), a famous Japanese thief who stole money from the rich and gave to the poor, was a legally criminal but considered a hero (doing justice) in the eyes of the Japanese people. Ghosn is just the opposite: he may be legally innocent but considered "evil" in the ordinary people's eyes here.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

WAPO's take:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/global-opinions/my-husband-carlos-ghosn-is-innocent-of-it-all/2019/04/17/57ec43e6-6140-11e9-bfad-36a7eb36cb60_story.html?utm_term=.2a6ca29b6784

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Ghosn is in solitary confinement

better than shared confinement.

is interrogated by prosecutors all day.

not all day, only a few hours a day.

He gets fresh air a half hour each day

fresh air gets into the room all the time.

-9 ( +0 / -9 )

Ghosn is in solitary confinement

better than shared confinement.

Is it?

1 ( +3 / -2 )

@goodluck

My post was partly modified by moderators. What I am asking is why were her documents seized by the prosecutors when they were there to arrest Ghosn? Unless there was a warrant for the premises it seems they went ‘fishing’ whilst there. What’s the point of having a defence team if the prosecution is seeing their hand pre-trial?

I speak from experience.

This trial will be interesting indeed, I know that’s Japan and all but if it happened here half the stuff would have been thrown out.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

She holds a US passport and most likely US citizenship, I actually don't think she has French citizenship.

She is asking US president to help a French citizen detained in Japan.

-8 ( +1 / -9 )

His trial may be unfair - you think?

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Don't fear it. It's true. It's been happening & it ain't gonna change. Why? No international pressure. Japan is sovereign. Nice answer; not good enough in my opinion.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Reckless - thanks for your reply. You said;

"...You would be surprised how ignorant many expats are about the Japanese system, especially narcissists. It is not uncommon for long term residents from Western countries to not even be able to read the kanjis for days of the week. Lol...."

I'm not sure what relevance this has to the topic at hand.

I can't quite make the link to the article concerning an unfair trial for Ghosn.

Expats not being able to read kanji is lost on me.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

it is medieval. I’m not sure if Ghosn misconducted Nissan’s fund illegally but I’m sure Japanese government is misconducting the judiciary. Prosecutors and nissan allies should stop manipulating Japanese media enhancing racist speech. Ghosn is a victim of racism in Japan.

2 ( +7 / -5 )

@browny1: your earlier comment suugested he had a complete understanding of the system after 20 years in Japan, but as far as I know he is not fluent in Japanese and has massive friction with his Japanese subordinates. This suggests to me that he could be like many senior Western managers who come to Japan, even long term, who have only a superficial understanding of the culture and language, surrounded in a sycophantic bubble of English speaking subordinates with a disdainful attitude towards Japan. But maybe not.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

No attorney present, no recording of questioning the court accepts "confessions" even when the accused says they were forced. And the confession written by the the prosecution.

It's really disappointing that international pressure from organizations like The UN have not commented nearly enough (or better yet, acted upon it) on what is obviously a 'justice' system and way of thinking that does not belong in the civilized world. An incredibly embarrassing facet of Japan that leaves much mud on its face.

This suggests to me that he could be like many senior Western managers who come to Japan, even long term, who have only a superficial understanding of the culture and language [...snip]

And yet, assuming that you are remotely right in your rash judgment of him (and your stereotype of westerners in general), he took Nissan from the brink of bankruptcy and made it profitable again...

1 ( +2 / -1 )

The purpose of a trial is to convict and to assign the penalty.  Fair?  An interesting concept, but having nothing to do with the trial.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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