Tuesday, December 29, 2009
Gary Tanaka- A Miscarriage of Justice?
In 2005, Tanaka was arrested with Vilar for allegely diverting millions of dollars of investor's money for personal use. Having read Haigh's piece it certainly seems that Tanaka has been unjustly bracketed with Vilar- who was found guilty on all 12 charges- when he had little or no day to day contact with him- living in a Britain and Vilar in the USA- and was by no means closely acquainted with his partner's business activities.
Tanaka was found guilty on three charges out of the 12 but this was enough to remove his credibility as a businessman; Haigh argues this was essentially brought about through 'guilt by association'. The main complainant against him, Lily Cates Naify, actually did not lose any of the $6m she invested in his company, as Haigh's article makes clear. Since then Tanaka has been surviving cancer- successfully as it happens- and living, for four years under virtual house arrent as the glacially moving US legal system continues to wait to announce any sentence.
Having read- admittedly only a little- about the case there seems, prime facie, to have been a mistake made born of the witchhunt atmosphere generated by the fiancial scandals of the noughties, beginning with Enron and continuing most recently with the banking crisis. Nobody could deny that public anger against the corporate villains of Enron or indeed our very own Sir Fred Goodwin, was not justified, but along with the guilty such public groundswells can also include the perfectly innocent.
I was careful to say I did not know the whole facts- how could I?- and said i thought there was a 'prima facie' case he was innocent. Can't see what's so 'phew' making about that. And I'm touched by tyour faith in the US justice system; like ours it makes mistakes.
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