The Escape of Carlos Ghosn

The former Nissan chief bought his freedom and evaded legal accountability through an elaborate plot that had him smuggled out of Japan in a box.

Comments: 22

  1. Japan is a highly nationalistic country. We can see this with their industrialization prior to World War ll and afterwards during the 1980’s when Japan transformed itself into a economic powerhouse. Japanese nationalism is everything. I can understand that the Japanese would not want to loose one of their crown jewels, an automaker. What I don’t understand is (1) why would the Japanese merge with a French automaker like Renault to begin with? And (2) if it appears that Renault was gaining too much control, then just sever the relationship? Why arrest the CEO unless you suspect that this person is more loyal to France than Japan? And if so, then just oust them as CEO unless the French board members had too much voting power? Did Renault (France) take too much power from Nissan (Japan), or did Japan loose it? Regardless, I think Ghosn might be correct. There is not a single Japanese citizen on the planet that will let a foreigner take one of their crown jewels. Especially a source of national pride like an automaker.

  2. @PC Perhaps you might do well to look up Hakuho, Mongolian-born sumo grand champion and Yokozuna. If there is to be a "crown Jewel" certainly, Sumo is a jewel near the top the crown. Japan's nationalism is no more than any other country. Trump's America first policies, Brexit, the list goes on. In terms of the their legal system, a fair trial is a certain as one in Europe, the US, and I would argue more so than Lebanon.

  3. @opinionizmioyn There are no fair trials in Lebanon. The system is corrupt -- only serving people who can pay off judges and politicians. Which Carlos Ghosn does already in Lebanon.

  4. "The tycoon’s escape preparations spanned the globe, revealing the means by which the well-connected can evade legal accountability." This hardly represents evading legal responsibility. It is quite clear now that the Japanese legal system is shockingly unjust and that it is impossible to get what the West would consider a fair trial.

  5. @Joe W "Japanese legal system is shockingly unjust and that it is impossible to get what the West would consider a fair trial." By what evidence do you support this statement? Clear to who? Japan's legal system may not be perfect, but ask a minority sitting in jail waiting for trial because he or she can't afford bail how fair the US system is. There can be improvement, however to suggest that the system is "shockingly unjust" is without merit and a false claim.

  6. Carlos Ghosn is not by far the only one who believes that a host country's laws may not apply to him. Alas, if Mr. Ghosn wishes to leave Lebanon one day, he must always watch out that the country of his destination is not going to arrest him on arrival.

  7. Ghost accepted the CEO position in Japan then skimmed money beyond his already extremely high salary and perks and when cought used his extreme wealth to escape instead of going to trial. He does not have my respect for sure. He"s just another great corporatist extracting money from those that earn it within a company. He should be extradited to Japan and face trial. It will be fair cause the world will be watching.

  8. "a rigged legal system" Based on what? An interesting way to perpetuate a billionaire fugitive's narrative.

  9. @opinionizmioyn Dude, do you know ANYTHING about Japan? I understand that it's popular these days to hate CEOs, and many are worthy of hate, but did you watch the press conference and hear how he described his treatment? Japan is a modern country, right? We can take for granted that people are treated fairly, right? Wrong. Japan is medieval when it comes to their criminal justice system. I'll break it down for you: Indefinite detainment with no access to legal council, no access to evidence against you, lengthy interrogations where you are coerced to sign a confession written in Japanese, solitary confinement and other conditions that amount to psychological torture... I've lived in Japan for 17+ years, and although I've never personally experienced the Japanese criminal justice system first-hand, I totally understand and support Ghosn's decision to escape. There's no justice in Japan if you're labeled a "bad" person. I read the same initial reports about his "crimes" and believed them too, but now that he's able to defend himself and speak out, we can see how rigged the Japanese criminal justice system is. How else would you explain a 99% conviction rate!? Watch his press conference again without a huge anti-CEO bias and just take note of his description of his treatment. I hope his legal team follows through and clears him of wrongdoing while putting the cruel and unusual nature of the Japanese criminal justice system out in the open for everyone to see.

  10. @Brian in Japan Ok "Brian in Japan"...Carlos Ghosn's PR team is shameless.

  11. @Brian in Japan "Japan is medieval when it comes to their criminal justice system. " A bit hyperbolic, but so be it. "Indefinite detainment with no access to legal council" Absolutely false. Under Japanese law, you may be arrested and detained without bail for 48 hours by the police on suspicion of having committed a crime. During this period, the police are required to inform you of the crime of which you are suspected, of your right to remain silent, of your right to hire a lawyer at your own expense, of your right to request a court-appointed lawyer, and of your right to have the Embassy or the Consulate notified of your arrest. Anyway, anyone can google it. Took this off the usembassy.gov site. Carlos Ghosn is a fugitive. He'll say whatever his team of crisis management people tell him to say. So there it is.

  12. Mr Dooley's and Mr Barbaro's spin on this case is surprising. They go far too easy on Japan and its "judicial" system. Mr Dooley's glib extrapolation from Mr Ghosn's linguistic capabilities to his allegedly not feeling tied to any country bespeaks both a very poor understanding of the Lebanese diaspora and journalistic indolence.

  13. I do not agree with the Daily’s conclusion on Carlos G’s escape from Japan: if the probability to get a fair trial is cero, why risk your freedom? All countries around the world should rally against Japan since it could happen to any foreigner doing business in Japan. Anyone should be able to get a fair trial

  14. Independency of judicature of Japan is very doubtful. Present Abe government of Japan has appointment rights judges of supreme court and high-class bureaucrats including prosecution. Judge who judged that Tepco executives are not guilty visited prime minister cabinet office next day of trial. Japan's prosecution who had strongly opposed to release Ghosn on bail,had kept eyes on bail violation,and re-detained Ghosn once. but,somehow,such prosecution of Japan had discontinued surveillance to Ghosn. and Japan's news shows are occupied with topics of Ghosn's escape,Japanese general public eyes had been distracted from Abe government's plural scandals.

  15. I believe that this story left out an important aspect of this case: the Japanese judicial system has a 99% CONVICTION RATE in cases like these...... There can be an argument that in a system like this, you are guilty until proven innocent, which you cannot win. So for the reporter to state that 'we will never find out if justice will be done for both sides' is disingenuous.

  16. Japan's minister of justice who has not understood even principle of criminal suit said that "Ghosn should prove own innocent". Japan's Abe Govt and prosecution become one body and spread such impression such "Ghosn is doubtful.therefore,Ghosn's criticism to hostage justice is also doubtful" to justify problematic judicial system of Japan. But,false charge by extortion of confession is still repeated in Japan,even retrial is difficult in Japan. whichever Ghosn is guilty or not guilty, Presumption of innocence is still nowhere in Japanese society. Many Japanese think that "person who is arrested is bad man". feeling that greedy rich should be punished is natural. but,Target of Japan's 'hostage justice' is not only greedy executives,for example,Even migrants are forced to be detained and abused in Japan’s immigration bureau.

  17. He's nothing but a thief who managed to evade justice because of his money and corruption.

  18. Present Japan's Abe government,ruling party,mainstream media or society have been "contaminated" with self-righteous nationalism that want to believe that "Japan is always right about everything".and it treat even criticism to government as "Anti-Japan". Present situation about human rights in Japan is merely "better than China". Abe govt continues to ignore concern and criticism from UN experts about human rights. Japan's foreign intern system is virtually one of modern slavery. Japan's immigration bureaus are hotbed of human rights violations. despite many problems such as social intolerance or many serious natural disaster or many unsolved issue, Japan's prime minister Abe said that "2019 was wonderful year that Japan shined at center of the world" about last year. He and his government is in filter bubble and echo chamber.

  19. In response to people who nit pick about how Michael says: Here's what you need to know today. Get a life! To Michael: You be you! Nobody can be all things to all people. I appreciate the reporting and the reporting is what is important.

  20. about Ghosn issue, in Japan,only Ghosn and his lawyer team are criticized. somehow,nobody point out responsibility of Japan's security authorities who "could not notice" Ghosn's escape until coverage of other countries.

  21. Watch Martin Scorsese's film Silence. When I saw the film, I thought it was a scorching allegory of contemporary Japanese society because it captured the horrors of the unfair and irrational bullying, isolating and unlawful Japanese system. But then I learned that it was based on an old book written about a real incident from centuries ago. It seems like things haven't really changed there..

  22. Listen to Ghosn's press conference. This episode left out a lot of key details, the most important of which is that Ghosn cooperated fully with the Japanese legal system for over a year, 130 days in prison including solitary confinement without bail and afterwards severe limitations on his life. All this while dealing with a prosecution that withheld documents, delayed timelines, and other actions that limited the ability of his legal team to prepare a fair defense. He only left Japan after confirming that the prosecution (which had a 99% prosecution rate) planned to drag this out for another couple of years and that the trial wouldn't be fair. Yes, it's true, he had the means to escape because of his wealth and connections, but he only did so after fully exhausting the options to receive a fair trial, which he has been demanding since the day he was arrested.