Yoichi Kitamura, the defense lawyer for Greg Kelly Photo: AP/Yuri Kageyama
crime

Kelly innocent of Ghosn pay scheme, his lawyer says

61 Comments
By Yuri Kageyama

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Kelly innocent of Ghosn pay scheme, his lawyer says

what a non-title - would a lawyer ever say anything else?

12 ( +16 / -4 )

"He talks like a lawyer, and he thinks like a lawyer," Kitamura said. "He wouldn't do anything wrong or illegal."

That’s one weak argument.

5 ( +19 / -14 )

Meanwhile not one Japanese Nissan executive face any charges. So much for justice.not going to get a monicom of it in beautiful Japan.

12 ( +20 / -8 )

The one thing this Nissan farce showed the world was that foreigners should think deeply before taking up any executive roles to be based in Japanese companies especially in Japan. They will always be blamed and made scapegoats. None of the Japanese executives from Nissan were charged and the two foreigners blamed for everything!

20 ( +26 / -6 )

 Even in Japan, where more than 99% of criminal trials result in convictions, a person is presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, he noted.

LMAO!!!!!!!

1 ( +12 / -11 )

In Japan, it is common practice to admit guilt and apologize in front of cameras for white collar crimes. Foreigners dont get the memo or they do but their pride doesn't allow them to follow Japanese "custom". White collar crime is not punishable by law if you just apologize and admit whatever they want you to admit.

This is Asia after all, and Japan is as corrupt as any other Asian country im afraid. Glad the whole world gets to see this. But i wonder if they give a crap

10 ( +16 / -6 )

I wouldn't be surprised if Kelly is acquitted, or at the very least receives an extremely light sentence. The centerpiece of Kelly's defense would have been calling Carlos Ghosn as a witness. Kelly shouldn't end up paying the price for the court's own failure to recognise how much of a flight risk Ghosn was when they agreed to bail him. This will probably weigh heavily on the judge's decision.

2 ( +7 / -5 )

In Japan, it is common practice to admit guilt and apologize in front of cameras for white collar crimes. Foreigners dont get the memo or they do but their pride doesn't allow them to follow Japanese "custom". White collar crime is not punishable by law if you just apologize and admit whatever they want you to admit.

Not strictly true. If you are a foreigner and you admit guilt, a harsher sentence is demanded, if more money is not paid.:

Ask the question, why are their prosecutors who deal with foreigners and prosecutors who deal with Japanese. Probably to scam more money out of foriegners.

4 ( +11 / -7 )

The one thing this Nissan farce showed the world was that foreigners should think deeply before taking up any executive roles to be based in Japanese companies especially in Japan. 

Th Olympus scandal with Michael Woodford did more in that regard.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

P. SmithToday  07:17 am JST

"He talks like a lawyer, and he thinks like a lawyer," Kitamura said. "He wouldn't do anything wrong or illegal."

That’s one weak argument.

Fully agree, it just made me think about Giuliani... :-)

14 ( +15 / -1 )

In Japan, lawyers are more trustworthy than the US.

This assertion is backed up by lawyers not being involved in scandals or fraud as in other countries.

There is a different mindset here.

2 ( +7 / -5 )

Obvious that since Kelly had to have everything signed off by his superiors that he was just doing his job as prescribed by his employers he wasn't hiding any of these ideas which by the way were never finalized and where still in draft format. Based on the statements supplied by Kelly's Colleagues Prosecutors would have had a better chance of getting a conviction if they went after some of them.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Quote: ''says his client was merely trying to prevent Ghosn from going to a rival automaker.''

So Mr Kelly was doing a favor for Japan??

He wasn't breaking the law, allowed Ghosn to escape in a suit case, took in millions of dollars in compensation from Ghosn....

No no no, he was helping Japan! That's his argument, his Innocent! Good luck with that defense. You'll need it.

0 ( +9 / -9 )

Guilty by association with master criminal who fled the country

1 ( +8 / -7 )

aiding a criminal 

but ghosn is innocent

-3 ( +8 / -11 )

"He talks like a lawyer, and he thinks like a lawyer," Kitamura said. "He wouldn't do anything wrong or illegal."

False assumption to think because he is a lawyer, he wouldn't do anything wrong or illegal.

The trial, which began in September, has shown that top officials at Nissan Motor Co, including Kelly and former Chief Executive Hiroto Saikawa, all knew Ghosn took a drastic pay cut after the disclosure of high executive pay became required in Japan in 2010.

Why did they need to under report his salary? Had Nissan just disclose his well worth remuneration, however many times higher than other executives in Japan, this might not have been a crime. They shouldn't have had to take a pay cut in the first place.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Being innocent in Japan has rarely stopped anyone being convicted.

-1 ( +9 / -10 )

Meanwhile not one Japanese Nissan executive face any charges. So much for justice.

Hence the “Just Us system” mockery.

Kelly had to have everything signed off by his superiors

Mr Saikawa signed it and no charges for him. Well I guess a signature means nothing in Hanko Japan? Just say you had no idea what you were doing and others can take the rap for you!

if there has even been a crime at all.

-4 ( +6 / -10 )

@James

Obvious that since Kelly had to have everything signed off by his superiors that he was just doing his job as prescribed by his employers

But Greg Kelly was not just a Nissan employee. He was the representative director and it's in this capacity that he's being prosecuted. If Kelly knowingly signed off on inaccurate securities filings, that's entirely on him. The other directors were not his superiors.

0 ( +7 / -7 )

Jim:

The one thing this Nissan farce showed the world was that foreigners should think deeply before taking up any executive roles to be based in Japanese companies especially in Japan.

Indeed. Ghosn should have just let Nissan rot instead of taking up the job in the first place. Let this be a lesson to non-Japanese and Japanese alike. Japan - bail yourselves out next time. Nissan didn't recover due to luck. Now it's going south for a particular reason.

-1 ( +6 / -7 )

@fxgai

Mr Saikawa signed it and no charges for him. 

The question is not whether Saikawa signed the accounts. It's whether he knew they were inaccurate and didn't meet the reporting regulations when he signed them. The Nissan directors divided tasks amongst themselves and the issue of executive compensation fell entirely to Ghosn and his team.

It's entirely possible that Saikawa knew Ghosn was up to something fishy, but there probably isn't enough evidence to support prosecuting Saikawa. Japanese prosecutors are reluctant to press charges unless they have an ironclad case. That's part of the reason the conviction rate is 99%. Alternatively, Saikawa may be the unidentified Nissan whistle-blower.

-4 ( +5 / -9 )

 a lawyer, a said. "He wouldn't do anything wrong or illegal."

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I really hope Kelly walks. He did the honorable thing by facing the charges in court and present his defense.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Saikawa may be the unidentified Nissan whistle-blower.

The ratbag Hari Nada seems to be the whistleblower.

Anyway it seems obvious that Kelly and Nissan were trying to handle Ghosn’s compensation in a legal way (the compensation was never paid as far as I know), it will stink to high hell if Kelly is the prime person to suffer with a conviction, which seems to be the result of internal squabbles at a corporation, and collusion with protectionist government folks.

-1 ( +6 / -7 )

Meanwhile Ghosn hides in a foreign country letting everyone else take the fall.

-4 ( +8 / -12 )

@Charmaine Dela Cruz..Meanwhile Nissan executives receive no punishment for any misdoings!!

One rule for the Japanese and another one entirely for the 'gaijin'.

3 ( +8 / -5 )

In Japan, lawyers are more trustworthy than the US

Any actual evidence to back up this assertion? Studies? Surveys? Anything?

-5 ( +5 / -10 )

 Even in Japan, where more than 99% of criminal trials result in convictions, a person is presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, he noted.

You are guilty from the very moment you're detained.

Ask Ghosn, he hasn't been on trial or convicted, but unanimously guilty.

-2 ( +6 / -8 )

This is Asia after all, and Japan is as corrupt as any other Asian country im afraid. Glad the whole world gets to see this. But i wonder if they give a crap

wtfjapan, watch out what you comment. not music to all ears. Your country and other western countries are not flawless in this respect as well.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

but ghosn is innocent

Wanted by three countries, wanted by Interpol, 100% guilty in japan...

are you ghosn supporters compensated for your comments?

i shouldn’t really care, my cars are not Nissan. Or purgery

1 ( +7 / -6 )

100% guilty in japan...

Despite not having had a trial. Makes perfect sense.

-1 ( +7 / -8 )

100% guilty in japan...

Japan justice: guilty until proven guilty.

they should abolish trials, it's a waste of time and money.

-1 ( +7 / -8 )

IF, Mr Kelly is given a light sentence, will the amount of time spent in a detention centre be taken into account? thus reducing any more time spent in a detension centre?

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Under Japanese law you are guilty until proven innocent once arrested for a crime. This is why Japan has such a high conviction and confession rate. It is the job of a lawyer to prove your innocence, not just to state it.

-3 ( +5 / -8 )

@Goodlucktoyou..Why is he guilty?

He never went to trial!

Are we compensated by Ghosn?!!

Have you been taking your medication coz your comments are illogical.

-2 ( +5 / -7 )

"He talks like a lawyer, and he thinks like a lawyer," Kitamura said. "He wouldn't do anything wrong or illegal."

Hardly a viable defense. If anything it intends guilt.

And of course. "The first thing we do, let's kill all the lawyers". Henry VI, Part 2, Act IV, Scene 2

0 ( +1 / -1 )

In Japan, lawyers are more trustworthy than the US.

No more trustworthy, no less trustworthy

This assertion is backed up by lawyers not being involved in scandals or fraud as in other countries.

A sweeping statement. Lawyers in any country must have an extremely high degree of integrity.

There is a different mindset here.

Yes there is a different mindset. It woulsdd seem thatv ilnnocence has to be proved, and not presumed. Prosecutors seem to be the corrupt ones in Japan (backed up by a UN report on the unlawful detention of Mr.Ghosn). Judges are the prosecutors poodle's.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

Lots of down votes for people that are in support of justice and fairness for Ghosn and Kelly I think we a few too many trolls in our midsts ..

Pathetic.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

The ratbag Hari Nada seems to be the whistleblower.

He is the whistleblower. I mentioned this last year.

Nada hoped for some personal gain in the company, but those above him was already in on it. All he did was ruin NIssan!

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Lots of down votes for people that are in support of justice and fairness for Ghosn and Kelly I think we a few too many trolls in our midsts ..

Pathetic.

Well, I suppose this whiole circus must be hard on the Japanese. Let's look at what was supposed ti happen.

Mr.Ghosn would be arrested, confess to his "wrong doing", be given a suspended sentence, but would have to pay an embellished, (because he is not Japanese) amount of fine and compensation. Japan would say, Oh look how kind we are. Saikawa would take over and say, I forgive Mr.Ghosn.

It might just have worked, but Japan made a fatal error. They had forgotten Pearl Harbour. Pearl Harbour tactics just don't go down well in the world.

As a result, let's look at what has happened Japanese justice looks a complete international ass.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

As usual, Japanese blame the wrong person and caused a unnecessary problem.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

@dan

Meanwhile Nissan executives receive no punishment for any misdoings!!

One rule for the Japanese and another one entirely for the 'gaijin'.

Playing 3 Card Monty (ie. deflection) doesn't change the truth behind what I stated... Ghosn is hiding in another country, letting everyone else take the fall. Kelley, the pilots who flew Ghosn out of Japan, the father/son who orchestrated the details of the escape, the companies involved, etc. Everyone except Mr. Clean.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

This assertion is backed up by lawyers not being involved in scandals or fraud as in other countries.

Sorry can't agree. They are a protected class. Scandals would be covered up. In Anglo countries bad lawyers are regularly disbarred to try to keep the system honest.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

@dan

Meanwhile Nissan executives receive no punishment for any misdoings!!

One rule for the Japanese and another one entirely for the 'gaijin'.

Playing 3 Card Monty (ie. deflection) doesn't change the truth behind what I stated... Ghosn is hiding in another country, letting everyone else take the fall. Kelley, the pilots who flew Ghosn out of Japan, the father/son who orchestrated the details of the escape, the companies involved, etc. Everyone except Mr. Clean.

Mr.Ghosn is not hiding. He has invited Japanese prosecutors to Lebanon to answer any questions they may wish to put to him.

Curiously, they (Japanese prosecutors) have not responded.

Maybe that is because in Lebanon he is not a hostage. This isn't Japan, is it?

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Sorry Alan, but bail-jumping from a country and then inviting those same prosecutors to visit you in the country you currently reside is not the actions of an innocent man.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Sorry Alan, but bail-jumping from a country and then inviting those same prosecutors to visit you in the country you currently reside is not the actions of an innocent man.

Sorry Charmaine. Until he is proven guilty in a court of law he is presumed innocent. (Note, when I say court of law, I do mean proper courts of law, not Japans definition of a court, and for that matter, Japans definition of bail conditions).

2 ( +3 / -1 )

bail-jumping from a country and then inviting those same prosecutors to visit you in the country you currently reside is not the actions of an innocent man.

Isn't it? I'd have to be in the position of being an innocent man in Japan, facing trial in a system that essentially always finds guilt, with both the means to leave, and a place to go, to be able to know if I would make that decision myself. I certainly cannot say I wouldn't. I most definitely don't see enough to conclude that an innocent man wouldn't do it. Especially if that innocent man is exceptionally rich, and/or particularly entitled.

I actually think that escaping the way Ghosn did would be something both innocent and guilty men would consider, and it's plausible that a man in either position would do it. I don't see how a person could logically conclude that an innocent person wouldn't. That just doesn't fit with how the world seems to work.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

I actually think that escaping the way Ghosn did would be something both innocent and guilty men would consider, and it's plausible that a man in either position would do it. I don't see how a person could logically conclude that an innocent person wouldn't. That just doesn't fit with how the world seems to work.

I completely agree with you; however, fleeing from the authorities when you are under arrest or suspicion gives rise to the inference that you are guilty. At least in the US, but the US also doesn’t hamper suspects ability to ensure a fair trial like Japan does.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

however, fleeing from the authorities when you are under arrest or suspicion gives rise to the inference that you are guilty.

Keep in mind that being arrested in Japan means you are guilty.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Dumb defense.

-You come willingly to Japan.

-Get hired as CEO top position for Nissan.

No problems then. No problems when Ghosn wasn't found, no problem while Ghosn got away with it.

The moment he was found out....His reaction and defense is: Japan not fair! Japan system not fair! Not acceptable anymore! Only if I don't break law it's ok and I accept it.

Mr Ghosn, Japanese themselves follow this laws, they apply to Japanese citizens as well.

Foreigners wants special laws. Special get out of jail card. Special foreign card, because the justice system which works for Japan and accepted by Japanese, is not fair to Mr Ghosn, not fair to foreigner who broke the laws and run away in suit case.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Foreigners wants special laws. Special get out of jail card. Special foreign card, because the justice system which works for Japan and accepted by Japanese, is not fair to Mr Ghosn, not fair to foreigner who broke the laws and run away in suit case.

This isn’t based in reality at all. Non-Japanese would like a justice system that is interested in justice and not simply convictions by any means necessary. Japan is, after all, a fully developed democracy.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Keep in mind that being arrested in Japan means you are guilty.

Which is why I noted I was referring to the US justice system as supposed to Japan’s conviction system.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

The moment he was found out....His reaction and defense is: Japan not fair! Japan system not fair! Not acceptable anymore! Only if I don't break law it's ok and I accept it.

Ghosn hasn't been convicted of a crime, and at the moment has the presumption of innocence. So your comment doesn't jive with the real world facts. If he had escaped after being found guilty your sentence would match the real world.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Strangerland

That applies for any crime then. Weak argument.

He could have killed a person, run away, say his Innocent not guilty and Japan justice system is not fair. The only way was to run away.

Dumb argument all around of a criminal who broke the law, then runs away in a suit case. Hires ex military to ship him out of the country. Yeah, keep telling yourself that Strangerland.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

 Presumption of innocence.

In all honestly that is not a sentence that sits well in Japans System of Justice.

Confessions are arbitrarily forced out of the unwilling.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Dumb argument all around of a criminal who broke the law, 

Alleged criminal. Why do so many people have such a difficult time understanding the presumption of innocence?

3 ( +4 / -1 )

That applies for any crime then. Weak argument.

Innocent until proven guilty is a weak argument. Got it. Unfortunately, I think we have a fundamental difference in ideology, in that not being an authoritarian, I feel people deserve the presumption of innocence until they have had the opportunity to meet their accusations head on on in a court of law. I do understand some people prefer a more dictatorial style, where the accusation alone is proof of guilt.

He could have killed a person, run away, say his Innocent not guilty and Japan justice system is not fair. The only way was to run away.

I didn't say it was the right thing to do, I said that I could believe an innocent person with the means may very well escape, therefore I didn't find the argument that one who is innocent wouldn't escape to be a flawed argument.

Dumb argument all around of a criminal who broke the law, then runs away in a suit case. Hires ex military to ship him out of the country.

Or maybe he was an innocent man who was falsely accused of breaking the law, and in a system where guilt in a trial is almost predetermined, decided his odds were better to run away. I see both possibilities sd plausible.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

@ReasonandWisdomNippon

Dumb argument all around of a criminal who broke the law, then runs away in a suit case.

Why can you say that Ghosn is a criminal? How can you say that he broke the law?

Do you know something that we do not?

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Why can you say that Ghosn is a criminal? How can you say that he broke the law?

Because Japanese people firmly believe that anyone arrested is guilty of whatever crime of which they are accused.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

@P.Smith, that is true. I have heard this from several Japanese acquaintances.

The Japanese seem to have a groupthink mentality. They are sheeples. If someone in power says something is "this way", then that's how it is. They seem to follow blindly. Just because someone says someone else did something wrong/illegal, doesn't actually make it so. If there is proof to back up that theory, then that is different. I stated this before on a previous article. If Ghosn is found guilty, via a thorough, and proper investigation and there is hard evidence to prove his guilt, then he should face the consequences for his actions. But blindly believing someone is guilty because he was arrested and the prosecutors say so, is wrong. IF the prosecutors have all this evidence that proves Ghosn/Kelly's guilt, why has the trial taken so long to start and expected to go on for many months, if not years? Plus, why are only the foreigners being charged again?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

If someone here is personally or has/had a relative or friend that is/was being charged with a crime, wouldnt you want to see all the evidence before assuming their guilt? I know I would. I wouldnt follow the mindset that they are guilty just because they were arrested or someone said they were.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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