By on November 22, 2019

Carlos Ghosn

Carlos Ghosn, former head of the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance, has been allowed to see his wife Carole for the first time in seven months. Fortunately for Ghosn, the pair actually wanted to speak and had been complaining about this throughout their time apart. Indicted on various charges we’ve covered to death, Japanese courts decided last April that it was too big of a risk to let the couple interact. The fear was that the duo would somehow conspire or possibly tamper with evidence.

The suspension of their separation appears to be limited event, however. The Tokyo District Court only agreed to allow a single meeting after Ghosn’s legal council began pushing for softer bail conditions over the summer. 

According to Automotive News, the couple was allowed to speak while being supervised by a lawyer and were explicitly forbade from discussing the legal case. Mrs. Ghosn last saw her spouse after he was (re)released in April, before being taken into back into custody. Since then, they’ve not been allowed to have any contact.

During their time apart, Carole has openly accused the Japanese government of having a “guilty until proven innocent” mentality, claiming its treatment of her husband is unacceptable — even comparing it to a hostage situation. One of her biggest criticisms is the amount of time it has taken the prosecution to build its case. She claims he was arrested without sufficient evidence and fears he’s being held until they find some. The solution, according to her, is to have him extradited to France in order to stand trial. She’s sought political support in Europe to make it happen.

“This court decision is valid only for this one time, and we are not sure if the court will grant another chance, going forward,” Ghosn’s lawyers said. “But we will continue to request that the court ease bail conditions to allow Ghosn to communicate or meet his wife.”

Carlos is currently facing four indictments following his initial November 2018 arrest in Japan. The first two are charges of failing to disclose more than $80 million in deferred compensation. The rest are breach of trust charges accusing Ghosn of intentionally diverting company money away from Nissan for personal gain.

He denies the charges against him, suggesting he was on the receiving end of an industrial coup to unseat him and his supporters. Guilty or innocent, that coup sort of came to pass with Nissan and Renault doing their utmost to remove anyone with ties to the former business leader. Now Ghosn just wants a firm trial date and access to the evidence the prosecution plans to use against him so he can build his own case. His legal team has faulted the prosecution with tampering with evidence by giving it back to Nissan. They’re also worried the company may dispose of potentially exonerating evidence.

“Tokyo prosecutors have repeatedly and systematically denied Mr. Ghosn fundamental rights of due process and turned the presumption of innocence on its head,” Ghosn’s legal team said in a statement to mark the one year anniversary of his arrest.

[Image: Nissan]

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22 Comments on “Ghosn Finally Allowed to Speak With Wife...”

  • avatar

    This really sucks.

    • 0 avatar

      He deserves more than a little jail time for the CVTs Nissan has been using.

      The 370Z is a crime against humanity. I’ll never understand how people wreck so many 300 hp cars either.

  • avatar

    Boy, you really do not want to piss in Japan’s pot and it sure sounds like they need to sh*t or get off it.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    This meets the definition of “miscarriage of justice”. Whether he’s guilty or not, it’s terrible.

  • avatar

    For a first world country, Japan seems to be very heavy-handed in this case. He’s being charged with financial issues, not mass murder. And why couldn’t he at least see his wife? They could have had a jail guard or something sit with them if they were that worried.
    I would expect this in say, North Korea, not Japan.

    • 0 avatar

      99.5% of arrests in Japan result in convictions. Shoplifting carries a 2-5 year jail term in Japan. Crime is low because punishment is harsh. If Ghosn is found guilty (which is very highly likely), there is no doubt Ghosn will spend the rest of his life in a Japanese prison. Japanese courts do not compromise.

      • 0 avatar
        Steve Biro

        SSJeep is right. It is also clear that Ghosn’s claims — that they arrested him with little or no evidence and are trying to keep him in jail while they build a case — are correct. And I have no doubt that any exonerating evidence will or has been destroyed. There’s a reason Japan has such a high conviction rate: Those charged have no rights. France should threaten to cut diplomatic relations unless the legal system gives Ghosn a chance to defend himself. Screw Renault’s partnership with Mitsu.

    • 0 avatar

      I can’t see Judge Ooka running a prosecution this way.

  • avatar

    And what is the French government doing?

    This situation is insane!

  • avatar

    You need to know what you are dealing with:
    Many written reports and testimonies collected by the Australian War Crimes Section of the Tokyo tribunal, and investigated by prosecutor William Webb (the future Judge-in-Chief), indicate that Japanese personnel in many parts of Asia and the Pacific committed acts of cannibalism against Allied prisoners of war. In many cases this was inspired by ever-increasing Allied attacks on Japanese supply lines, and the death and illness of Japanese personnel as a result of hunger. According to historian Yuki Tanaka: “cannibalism was often a systematic activity conducted by whole squads and under the command of officers”.[110] This frequently involved murder for the purpose of securing bodies. For example, an Indian POW, Havildar Changdi Ram, testified that: “[on November 12, 1944] the Kempeitai beheaded [an Allied] pilot. I saw this from behind a tree and watched some of the Japanese cut flesh from his arms, legs, hips, buttocks and carry it off to their quarters … They cut it [into] small pieces and fried it.”[111]

    In some cases, flesh was cut from living people: another Indian POW, Lance Naik Hatam Ali (later a citizen of Pakistan), testified in New Guinea and stated:

    … the Japanese started selecting prisoners and every day one prisoner was taken out and killed and eaten by the soldiers. I personally saw this happen and about 100 prisoners were eaten at this place by the Japanese. The remainder of us were taken to another spot 50 miles [80 km] away where 10 prisoners died of sickness. At this place, the Japanese again started selecting prisoners to eat. Those selected were taken to a hut where their flesh was cut from their bodies while they were alive and they were thrown into a ditch where they later died.[112]

    According to another account by Jemadar Abdul Latif of 4/9 Jat Regiment of the Indian Army who was rescued by the Australian army at the Sepik Bay in 1945:

    At the village of Suaid, a Japanese medical officer periodically visited the Indian compound and selected each time the healthiest men. These men were taken away ostensibly for carrying out duties, but they never reappeared.[113]

    Perhaps the most senior officer convicted of cannibalism was Lt Gen. Yoshio Tachibana (立花芳夫,Tachibana Yoshio), who with 11 other Japanese personnel was tried in August 1946 in relation to the execution of U.S. Navy airmen, and the cannibalism of at least one of them, during August 1944, on Chichi Jima, in the Bonin Islands. The airmen were beheaded on Tachibana’s orders. Because military and international law did not specifically deal with cannibalism, they were tried for murder and “prevention of honorable burial”. Tachibana was sentenced to death, and hanged.[114]

  • avatar

    “has been allowed to see his wife Carole for the first time in seven months”

    What a wonderful world we live in! With all my respect Japan still behaves as a third world country. Still hundred years or so behind of developed European and NA countries.

    • 0 avatar

      For all of their reputation as a technological powerhouse (in the 80s, they’re fading fast) they can be surprisingly backwards. The first time I went to Japan in 2005, when I bought a train ticket the cashier calculated my change using a soroban.

      i.e. an abacus. yes, the thing you slide beads around on.

  • avatar

    I used to travel to Japan quite often on business. The unspoken but harsh reality is, the Japanese as a people see themselves as being fundamentally superior to all other races. Non-Japanese are regarded as significantly inferior, as little better than animals, and thus not deserving of the same rights or respect as Japanese people. That is how they justify doing things that to us seem unspeakably barbaric as ravenchris shockingly described, or the inhumane treatment of Ghosn.

    There’s a form of ‘sashimi’ called odori in which the fish are eaten while still alive. I would bet that they would see what ravenchris described as being closer to odori than the rest of us would like to think.

    If you’re a ‘gaijin’, a non-Japanese, you can expect merciless, ruthless treatment from their legal system. The Japanese will no doubt concoct some rationale on which to convict him. As a gaijin, he most certainly will not get anything remotely resembling a ‘fair trial’ or ‘due process’ by US or European standards – look at how he’s been treated so far. For alleged accounting irregularities, he’s being treated more harshly than a violent mass murderer would be in the US or Europe.

    Their companies build damn fine cars, and I’ve been buying them almost exclusively for the past 30 years. But the moral is, you really, really, really don’t want to tangle with the Japanese legal system if you’re a non-Japanese person. You will not get a fair shake, you WILL lose, and you will pay a very painful price.

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