Give Us Ghosn: Japan's Deputy Justice Minister Heads to Lebanon
Japanese Deputy Justice Minister Hiroyuki Yoshiie reportedly traveled to Lebanon this past weekend in an attempt to convince Carlos Ghosn to give up his life on the lam and head back to Tokyo to stand trial. Considering the defamed automotive executive fled the country because he was positively convinced this would end in a conviction, we probably won’t need to issue any follow-up reports about how the meeting ended.
Ghosn has repeatedly stressed his belief that Japan aided Nissan in ousting him from the company and has no interest in giving him a fair trial — calling it a “hostage justice” system.
Of course, all the real negotiating will be done by proxy through Lebanese Justice Minister Albert Serhan, with the pair scheduled to meet on Monday. Ghosn won’t actually be in attendance, but you had better believe he’ll be interested in the play-by-play recap. With his mind already made up on the matter, Japan will need to focus on persuading Serhan.
On Friday, Justice Minister Masako Mori said she was sending officials to Beirut to better explain the situation and improve cooperation between the two countries. As Lebanon has no extradition treaty with Japan, there’s little expectation that it will willingly hand over Carlos. In spite of this, Mori said she hoped the meeting would help Lebanon gain “a proper understanding of the Japanese criminal justice system,” according to the Associated Press.
Nissan also weighed in, saying in a statement that it hoped Mr. Ghosn would return to Japan to stand trial “so that all the facts can be properly established under Japan’s judicial system.” The company has filed a lawsuit seeking 10 billion yen in damages to address its former chairman’s “corrupt business” practices. Meanwhile, the Japanese government filed a Red Notice with Interpol and issued an arrest warrant for Ghosn immediately following his December escape.
Ghosn still maintains his innocence, saying he was the subject of a corporate coup. He has also begun seeking signatures on a petition asking for the release of former-Nissan executive Greg Kelly, who was arrested with Ghosn back in 2018 and remains in Japanese custody.
[Image: Carlos Ghosn/ YouTube]
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Having some knowledge of the Japanese legal system, I can say with utter certainty that Ghosn's not wrong in believing the system's stacked against him. In some ways, Japan is a shockingly primitive society.
Imagine the sweet talking... "Don't you miss the rice? And the quiet time alone?"