Carlos Ghosn, the former CEO of Renault who was arrested months ago on charges of financial misconduct, was released this week from jail, having spent 108 days in lockup. He came out disguised as some kind of maintenance worker or laborer, for some reason, a move that his lawyer admitted today was a terrible idea after it was widely mocked.
The lawyer, Takashi Takano, said that the disguise was completely his idea, an effort to hide where Ghosn would be living. That effort appears to have been successful, as his current whereabouts are not publicly known. But the path there edged toward the ridiculous.
From the Guardian:
“The disguise was all planned and carried out by me,” [Takano] wrote in a blogpost. “As a result, my immature plan has tarnished the reputation that he has devoted his whole life to building. I feel sorry about that.”
The blue-collar bluff continued when Ghosn got into a silver Suzuki van with a workman’s ladder strapped to its roof and was driven across Tokyo to his lawyer’s office, pursued by media motorcycles and helicopters, .
Takano also called it “amateurish,” which, yes. Japanese media seemed to enjoy it, openly making fun of the stunt and, in some cases, recreating it.
Takano falling on his sword to accept blame is fine and all, and something any client would expect their lawyer to do, but I also have to point out that if your lawyer presents you with a plan that is completely absurd, you’re free to say, “Nah.”
It should be noted here that Ghosn’s other lawyer is a famous 73-year-old attorney named Junichiro Hironaka—called “The Razor” for his incredible legal skills and case record. “I am now 73 years old, but I want to test how sharp my razor still is,” Hironaka told Reuters earlier this month about taking the Ghosn case.
He then blamed the entire disguise fiasco on Takano. This is some Arrested Development-type shit here, everyone.
Anyway, if this is a preview of how this case will go, we can only expect more entertainment down the line, as Ghosn’s trial isn’t expected to start for months.