Wife says ex-Nissan boss Ghosn suffers ‘harsh’ treatment in jail

Carlos Ghosn, chairman and CEO of Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi, was charged by the Japanese authorities with under-reporting income and aggravated breach of trust. (AFP)
Updated 14 January 2019
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Wife says ex-Nissan boss Ghosn suffers ‘harsh’ treatment in jail

  • Carlos Ghosn was detained by the Japenese government on Nov. 19
  • Carole Ghosn said her husband lost 7kg since being detained and eats only rice and barley

The wife of ousted Nissan Motor Co. Ltd. chairman Carlos Ghosn has urged New York-based Human Rights Watch to draw attention to his “harsh treatment” during detention in a Japanese jail, a letter seen by Reuters showed on Sunday.
Japanese authorities have charged Ghosn with under-reporting income and aggravated breach of trust for temporarily transferring personal investment losses to Nissan in 2008.
In a nine-page letter to Kanae Doi, the rights group’s Japan director, Carole Ghosn asked it to “shine a light on the harsh treatment of my husband and the human rights-related inequities inflicted upon him by the Japanese justice system.”
Ghosn was in charge of an alliance that included Nissan Motor, Mitsubishi Motors and France’s Renault, until his November arrest and removal as chairman of the automakers sent shockwaves through the industry.
The government has denied requests to end his detention, which has run since Nov. 19. Ghosn’s lawyers have said it would probably take more than six months for his case to come to trial.
Phones went unanswered at Japan’s Foreign Ministry and the prime minister’s office as Monday is a public holiday, but Nissan said it was not in a position to comment on the workings of the judicial system, or any decision by the Tokyo prosecutors’ office.
Officials of Human Rights Watch could not be reached for comment on the letter, but its Asia director, Brad Adams, said in an editorial on Thursday that Ghosn’s case “has shone a light” on Japan’s long-overlooked “hostage” justice system.
“Ghosn has not, and should not, receive preferential treatment,” Adams wrote in the editorial, which appeared in the online edition of “The Diplomat.”
“But if Japan wants to live up to its reputation as one of the world’s most advanced democracies, it needs to modernize its criminal justice system,” he added.
“Regardless of the serious allegations against him, or the controversies surrounding his tenure at Nissan, no one should have their rights violated in this way while facing criminal charges.”
Nissan said last Friday it had filed a criminal complaint against Ghosn with Tokyo prosecutors related to the misuse of a “significant amount of the company’s funds.”
The former Nissan executive is being held in a 6.97-sq-m unheated cell and being denied daily medication, his wife said in her letter. He has lost 7kg since being detained and eats only rice and barley, she added.
Prosecutors in Japan often try to extract confessions from prisoners in detainment that could last months, Carole Ghosn said in the letter.
“For hours each day, the prosecutors interrogate him, browbeat him, lecture him and berate him, outside the presence of his attorneys, in an effort to extract a confession,” she said.
“No one should be forced to endure what my husband faces every day, particularly in a developed nation like Japan, the third largest economy in the world.”
Ghosn said he was “wrongly accused and unfairly detained based on meritless and unsubstantiated accusations” during a Tokyo court proceeding last week, his first public appearance since his November arrest, at which he seemed noticeably thinner.


Samsung delays Galaxy Fold media events in China

Updated 22 April 2019
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Samsung delays Galaxy Fold media events in China

  • Instead of plaudits ahead of the phone’s launch on April 26 in the US, Samsung has instead received brickbats
  • The hashtag #foldgate trended on Twitter because of the smartphone issues

SEOUL: Smartphone maker Samsung postponed media events for its Galaxy Fold planned for this week in Hong Kong and Shanghai, a company official said, days after reviewers of the foldable handset reported defective samples.
The official did not elaborate on reasons or rescheduling.
Instead of plaudits ahead of the phone’s launch on April 26 in the United States, the South Korean conglomerate has been blighted by technology journalists reporting breaks, bulges and blinking screens after using their samples for as little as a day.
Samsung said it received “a few” reports of damage to the displays of samples of the $1,980 handset, raising the specter of the combustible Galaxy Note 7 three years ago which the firm ultimately pulled from shelves at massive cost.
The reviewers’ reports of broken screens went viral online and prompted the creation of hashtag #foldgate on Twitter.
Samsung has hailed the folding design as the future in a field that has seen few surprises since Apple’s iPhone in 2007. Chinese rival Huawei Technologies has also announced a folding handset, the Mate X.
The Samsung official on Monday said it had no change to its previously announced release date in the United States.
It plans to begin South Korean and European sales in May, and Chinese sales from an undisclosed date.