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Carlos Ghosn case puts Japan's "gambling justice" system under review

The 64-year-old auto manager's private jet landed in Tokyo on November 19. Ghosn expects a busy day of meetings in Nissan, the Japanese car manufacturer saved him from financial ruin. Instead, Ghosn went straight into the hands of Tokyo prosecutors who informed him that he was arrested with suspected financial crimes.

Two years later, at the time of the year when he would usually prepare to participate in the annual gathering of the global elite in the Swiss mountain town of Davos, Ghosn is still in prison. He has been accused of several charges, failed in repeated attempts to get bail and lost more than 20 pounds, according to his son.

His experience has led to increased international attention to how people are suspected of crimes, being treated in Japan.

"That system I believe in hostility, I think, has no control," said Jeff Kingston, director of Asian studies at Temple University University's Japan campus.

& # 39; I don't want this on anyone & # 39;

If anyone has an idea of ​​what Ghosn can go through, it's Mark Karpeles. Like Ghosn, Karpeles is a French businessman in Japan who made a fortune and then lost his freedom after charges of financial misunderstanding.

"I didn't want it on anyone," Karpeles told CNN. "Not my worst enemy, not even the worst enemy of mankind."

  Mark Karpeles spent 1[ads1]1½ months in Japanese detention.

Karpeles is the former owner and CEO of Mt. Gox, which at one point was the largest bitcoin exchange in the world. But everything came to an end in early 2014, when nearly $ 500 million disappeared. The missing money threw Mt. Gox in bankruptcy and left approx. 30,000 angry investors.

Karpeles, 33, said hackers drained the company's virtual vaults, but the Japanese police focused their investigation on him. He was arrested in 2015 and later charged with in vain of about $ 3 million and breach of trust.

The businessman held detailed notes about his 11½ months in Japanese detention, which he describes as a "nightmare". He said the police interrogated him for 50 days without a single day off, and he often considered himself guilty just for the trial.

"It is very tempting when you are not free and face a system that every morning tells you only collaborate and everything becomes easy," he told CNN. "To just go with the flow and say, OK, ok."

& # 39; Penalty & # 39;

Karpeles said he lost 77 pounds in custody. After the interrogation period, seven months came in a one-time relationship at a meeting center in Tokyo.

He remembers every detail in his windowless 6-square-meter cell, which had tatami floors, a sink, toilet and a small table where he kept his journal.

  Karpeles kept detailed notes about his time in detention.

Karpeles said he was forced to sit upright in a corner for some ten hours a day. If guards caught him slouching or napping, they would shout through the door. Once when he failed to follow, he was taken to the cushioned "punishment" where his hands were tied behind his back, and he was held on the floor for hours.

He was released on a citizen more than two years ago, but he says he still adjusts to life on the outside. As an accused criminal in Japan, it has proven to be a struggle to find an apartment and a job. He is now working as a sewing technician for an American company. Because he is not allowed to leave Japan as his case moves through the judicial system, he has not been able to see his failing mother in France for six years.

Final arguments in Karpeles' attempts ended last month. The verdict is expected in March, almost four years after the arrest. He continues to insist that he is innocent.

  A sketch of Karpeles in the prison cell.

Ghosn's wife is called system & # 39; draconian & # 39;

Ghosn has also repeatedly confirmed his innocence. He has been fired from Nissan and Mitsubishi Motors, and his days on the rudder rudder seem to be numbered.

In the two months since his surprise arrest, Ghosn has been held in custody. Prior to his charges, he was subjected to up to eight hours of daily interrogation without his attorneys being present. He has repeatedly denied bail on a growing list of fees, including some $ 80 million in income and worsening confidence in the short transfer of his own losses to Nissan in 2008 at the height of the global financial crisis.

  Carlos Ghosn & # 39; s wife slams Japan's draconian & # 39; legal system
Ghosn's own lawyer has confirmed that his client could be held back as long as a year while waiting for the trial. While Ghosn is willing to defend himself, has been strong, according to his lawyer, he has found himself in a high bet of legal poker with Tokyo prosecutors.

Critics say their goals seem to be carrying him down psychologically to the point where he signs a confession.

Ghos's wife, Carole, wrote a nine-page letter to the Tokyo Department of Human Rights Watch, which slammed the Japanese justice system as "draconian".

"No man should be arrested under conditions so strong that their only credible purpose is to force a confession," she wrote.

  Carlos Ghosn has been poured out as head of Nissan and Mitsubishi Motors. His days as the leader of Renault seem to be numbered.

"I understand the criticism. But I want to say our system … is supported by most Japanese people," he said . "And still, the crime rate goes down every year, so I think our system works very well."

Shin Kukimoto, a prosecutor in Tokyo, defended the Office's handling of the Ghosn survey at a press conference last week.

"We are the institution to implement the law and not those who design the judicial system," he said. "The investigation and interrogation are done properly in accordance with the law."

Prosecutors "never carry out the investigation with certain goals in mind," Kukimoto said, insisting that they would not delay the legal process of "prolonging detention to plague the suspects."

When asked about suspected circumstances in imprisonment, Kukimoto said: "We think they are being treated fairly."

Ghosn could face up to 15 years in prison if he was eventually found guilty of all charges.

"Every country has its own background, history and culture," Kukimoto said at a press conference on Ghos's case in November. "I wonder if it's reasonable to criticize [Japan’s justice system] because it's different from their own countries."

Yoko Wakatsuki and Daniel Shane contributed to this report.

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