Ghosn has been pushing for some time for greater integration of Nissan with Renault, which has substantial industrial and financial logic but is politically unpopular with some in France and many in Japan. I presume this has nothing at all to do with the sudden and amazing discovery of hidden corporate assets being used by a director of a multinational company!!
He was sufficiently powerful to give himself a pay rise if it was just a question of disposable income. He seems to be much more interested in power than wealth, and that is more likely to be the line he has crossed. Whatever he may have done, his deeds do not seem to justify any time in any jail anywhere. That is just a means of demeaning him, putting him under pressure and reducing his power base.
I am not and never have been particularly a supporter of Ghosn, but I am now a sympathiser. All international executives should be vigilant. Nationalism is not just someone else’s problem.
Even in Japan, there should be a presumption of innocence. The assumption that any state judicial authority will act in a fair way, without pressure from the state or the media or even from the public is, in my direct experience, a little naive. There are exceptions and maybe Japan is one of them…I don’t know but I am prepared to wait and see. In the meantime, we must assume that we have just destroyed a career – and maybe a family – for no apparent reason. Was he questioned before the media were involved? Did the authorities really think he was going to go on the run? Was there a better way to handle this? It looks to me like the aim of this operation was to discredit, disarm and destroy, given that the media were notified of his arrest either before or at the same time as he was arrested.
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