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Expert: Ohtani should help clarify actions of interpreter

2024-07-22 23:11:25 来源:

Expert: Ohtani should help clarify actions of interpreter

THE ASAHI SHIMBUN

March 22, 2024 at 15:49 JST

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Photo/IllutrationLos Angeles Dodgers star Shohei Ohtani, left, and his interpreter Ippei Mizuhara, right, appear at an exhibition game on March 18 in Seoul. (Yuki Shibata)

The Los Angeles Dodgers have fired Shohei Ohtani’s interpreter following allegations he was involved in illegal gambling.

U.S. media reports, citing the baseball superstar’s lawyers, say Ippei Mizuhara used at least $4.5 million (680 million yen) that was transferred from Ohtani’s account to an account linked to illegal gambling.

Hisashi Sonoda, a professor emeritus of criminal law at Kobe’s Konan University and an expert on gambling laws, shared his views on the reports.

Excerpts from the interview follow:

In Japan, there is a tendency to view gambling itself as morally wrong. In the United States, there is more concern about the flow of gambling money to organized crime.

The story is making big headlines in the United States because of Ohtani’s fame and the suspected illegality of Mizuhara’s actions.

Ohtani’s attorneys have said that Mizuhara was involved in a “massive theft.”

The details are not yet clear, but if Mizuhara was entrusted with managing Ohtani’s finances and used them for his own purposes without permission, it would be embezzlement.

If Mizuhara was not in charge of Ohtani’s money and took the funds without permission, it would be theft. In either case, Ohtani is the victim.

There is a question of how much Ohtani knew about Mizuhara’s actions, including the illegality of them.

If money was transferred from Ohtani’s bank account to an illegal bookmaker, a large amount of money may have flowed to an illegal organization.

The principle of “ignorance of the law is no excuse” is shared in both Japan and the United States. It means that you can’t defend your actions by claiming you didn’t know the law.

While Ohtani may not be subject to criminal punishment if he knew nothing about the matter, he should take action to clear up the matter.

(责任编辑:)

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