For Carlos Ghosn, it was a major setback. Last week, the Japanese public Prosecutor brought new charges against the French Renault boss. Since November, the group is imprisoned arm, in Tokyo, now more months to threaten him in a Japanese prison: at the earliest six months, it comes to a process, a bail was rejected by the district court in Tokyo. In the case of the prosecution may challenge up to 15 years in prison.

Ghosn had spoken only a few days before a Japanese court and his innocence reaffirmed. He is accused of, among other things, to have part of his salary as Nissan CEO, to him will be paid out in the pension age, the tax authorities reported. Ghosn considers, however, that the disclosure was in the opinion of the tax experts from Nissan so far is mandatory. The money had not been paid.

But in the case of Ghosn, it’s not much more than a tax dispute in court. Not for nothing, Ghosns Japanese defenders, with all the waters washed former Japanese Prosecutor, Motonari Otsuru, alleged that his arguments last week in front of the Club of foreign journalists in Tokyo. to say

Without it, expressed Otsuru, how much of the case, Ghosn is now escalated to a dispute between Europe and Japan. There is opposition against the actions of the Prosecutor’s office has so far been little heard. So Otsuru relies on pressure from the West, otherwise he would not speak in front of the correspondent’s club.

Ghosn lawyer Motonari Otsuru on the way to the court

Until recently, Ghosn was something of a global Superstar among the managers. For more than a decade, the man with three nationalities (Brazil, France, Lebanon), the car manufacturer Renault and Nissan in a personal Union, and forged a continent, a cross-car Alliance, plus a two years ago, the Japanese Mitsubishi group. Until his arrest last November, occupied Ghosn the Post of the CEO at Renault, and the Chairman of the Board at Nissan, and Mitsubishi .

concern over the conditions of detention

Now there are deep cracks in the multi-cultural Alliance. The conditions of detention Ghosns in Europe for bewilderment: The interrogations took place over weeks on a daily basis and without legal counsel – even on new year’s day, the most important Japanese holiday. This is very unusual and signaled to the Public that you dealt with Ghosn as a felon. In addition, he was allowed to speak until last week, only Embassy staff and his lawyer. His family had no access.

“I ask the Japanese authorities to provide any Information about the health of my husband. We are in great concern for his recovery,” said Carole Ghosn, the wife of the accused, in Paris, after her husband was sick last week in Tokyo with a fever. In a letter to Human Rights Watch, she complained about the “harsh treatment” of him, not even his daily necessary medications would be granted.

Western companies in Japan are worried about the consequences of the case, Ghosn. Many see the charges against the Top managers as a bogus. The Tokyo active American business lawyer, Stephen Givens criticized recently told the New York Times, the financial technical finesse with which the Japanese prosecutors would work. Whether a decision of the Board of Nissan in the year 2008 was in fact formulated carefully enough, and whether Nissan have guaranteed the future salaries of the heads now in fact, or not: “Oh dear God! Of which will depend on whether you’re in prison or not?” revolted Givens.

How to independent prosecutors?

Such expert opinions stir up doubts that the judicial system handles clean with Ghosn. It is remarkable that in Paris, so far, Ghosn as Renault’s CEO. With this, the French respond quite differently than the third major group, the Auto Alliance, Mitsubishi Motors, where Ghosn was also replaced as Chairman. Mitsubishi Ghosn has, however, nothing wrong.

the TV screen in Tokyo

So all a Japanese plot against the previously all-powerful Ghosn?

On Monday reflected Nissan’s voice-the chief Hiroto Saikawa. “Nissan is not rejapanisiert”, countered in an Interview with the French economic newspaper “Les Echos” rumors. Also Renault will agree to the dismissal Ghosns, if the company gains clarity about the extent of the “deliberate manipulation and obfuscation tricks” of his boss, said Saikawa. So far, the Renault had the Board for procedural reasons do not have the full access to the files, so Saikawa. The charge of an intrigue he described as “absurd”.

Against Saikawas-the-art Version that many saw in the case of Nissan as a Junior partner of the Alliance, Renault took advantage of. Prior to his arrest, Ghosn had the explicit mandate of its shareholders, to regulate in the first line of the French government, his successor. For this, he should have a stronger Fusion of the two groups, which would have weakened many executives at Nissan.

May intrigue as the word is also too strong. The admiration that Ghosn was initially brought in in Japan, at least let in the own industry. The rules for respectful business conduct and social compensation in Japan are complicated, Ghosn has maintained and controlled. But from its original cost killer mentality that is owed to Nissan initially, his Survival, he is never compromised.

against players of the trade unions

This makes him in opposition to the trade unions, in France, but also in Japan, where tasks in the Committee, the Manager distinguished still for higher tasks. Well, the Ghosns Occur many happened at Nissan mad.

For the U.S.-Japan experts Jesper Koll, representing in Tokyo, the American Investment firm WisdomTree, fits Keidanren is the case, Ghosn prima in a new strategy of the leading Japanese business Association. The Association is promoting more transparency in Japan’s boardrooms. “Japan is proud to have a better System,” says Koll. So use Keidanren, the case of Ghosn to the demarcation, as a Symbol for the type of money-hungry Western Managers, should have in Japan, no Chance.

This is not to say that Keidanren needs to have instigated the action against Ghosn. But now, the Association acts as a driver in the debate.

in the Keidanren in Japan, traditionally, of the group families (“Keiretsu”) such as Mitsubishi dominates. Nissan was for the Association to always the underdog, and Nissan’s success with Ghosn who saved the automaker from bankruptcy, therefore, of secondary importance. In Tokyo Manager circles, it was considered, therefore, as a loss of prestige for Mitsubishi, as Ghosn and Renault-Nissan bought two years ago.

Large number of small things

Many of these factors play a major role, even if they may seem from a European perspective, first of all, beside the point. You explain at least why Ghosn in Japan has only a few advocates, although the allegations are not yet proven.

the fact remains: Someone like him, there is nowhere else in Japan. No other Western Manager was in Japan last for so long so successfully as he. No other Western group, such as Renault, about his alliances so influential in a Japanese key industry. “No one understood it is better to use the full Potential of the Japanese technology and brand policy as a springboard to global market leadership, as Carlos Ghosn,” says Japan expert Koll. So there are in Japan and Europe today are many who envy him his success.

However, there are hardly any solid evidence that Ghosn would be treated by the judicial system to be unfair. In Tokyo is already hot for a long time contested as independent in such a highly sensitive procedure for the prosecutors. On the one hand, they are considered to be fearless and ready to face it with the most Powerful. On the other hand, suspicions of political interference in their work.

This Time the state use attorneys seem to own sources in the Nissan group. Whether it is to be steadfast “Whistleblower”, as the last “New York Times” reported, or only submissive henchmen of Ghosns internal enemies, remains open. The result is, in any case, for the time being, the same: Ghosn remains in prison.

Sam Yoon has many years of experiences in journalism. He has covered such areas as information technology, science, sports and politics. Yoon can be reached at 82-2-6956-6698.