Mark Karpelès, the other French boss crushed by Japanese justice

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Friday, March 15, Mark Karpelès, 33 years old and native of Chenôve (Côte-d'Or), will finally be fixed on his fate. He is judged in connection with the disappearance in 2014 of 650,000 bitcoins in his former Tokyo company MtGox. Long suspected of being the author of the theft (the real thug has been arrested in 2017), he now faces 10 years in prison for mismanagement. MtGox was at the time the world's first bitcoin exchange. Its history is not unlike that of Carlos Ghosn, former CEO of Renault-Nissan, who also risk 10 years of detention in Japan for having concealed millions of euros in the tax.

"Elsewhere in Japan, I would have been recognized as innocent for a long time. But here, as soon as you are caught in the judicial machine, it is almost impossible to be acquitted, "lamented Mark Karpelès on March 13 in an interview with Echoes. "Too many careers, within the police, judges and prosecutors, are at stake when you are indicted. An acquittal at first instance occurs only in 0.01% of the cases. (…) Very rare acquittals occur on decisions of the Supreme Court, after the appeal. What I can hope for is a mild sentence that will save me from returning to detention and forced labor. "

>> To read also – Mark Karpelès: the little geek of Dijon become baron of Bitcoin

Absence of a popular jury to balance

He does not think so well: according to the Japanese Ministry of Justice, more than 99% of criminal cases result in a conviction. This is due to the absence of a popular jury. "The Japanese justice system is supposed to follow the principle that everyone is presumed innocent until they are convicted, but the reality is quite different," says Jake Adelstein, an American journalist based in Tokyo since 1980s. Specialized in local criminal cases, he just published "I sold my soul in bitcoins" (Marchialy editions), a

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