New criminal charge made against Ghosn

Ivan Schwartz
January 13, 2019

He was also indicted on a new, more serious charge of breach of trust.

Lawyers for Ghosn said they would request bail for the ex-Nissan chief.

Ghosn's lawyer, Motonari Otsuru, expects his client to be held until trial, which he said could begin in about six months.

Ghosn has remained in custody at the Tokyo Detention House since Tokyo prosecutors arrested him on November 19 along with close American aide Greg Kelly, who has been released on bail, for allegedly understating his remuneration in Nissan securities reports submitted to Japanese regulators during a five-year period through March 2015.

The Renault meeting comes two days after Ghosn made his first court appearance over alleged financial impropriety during his years as head of the carmaker's alliance partner Nissan.

Ghosn declared his love for Nissan at a dramatic court appearance.

Ghosn had been already indicted for underreporting his pay for the five years through fiscal 2014.

The other new charge says Ghosn reported 2.9 billion yen ($26.9 million) in compensation, when he earned more than 7.1 billion yen ($65.7 million) in the three years ending in June 2018.

Ghosn's lawyers requested bail at the Tokyo District Court following the indictments.

While declining to comment on specifics, Deputy Chief Prosecutor Shin Kukimoto told reporters that indicted suspects are usually detained for several months.

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The complexity of the case and the fact that all documents need to be translated into English and Japanese are likely to extend the time, added the lawyer.

Ghosn lost an appeal against his ongoing detention, diminishing the prospects of an early release on bail. He denied the allegations, calling them "meritless" and "unsubstantiated".

The case is also being played out in local media, with another string of allegations leaking out in the Japanese press on Friday.

At the court, Ghosn said his actions were backed by managers inside the company as well as external lawyers.

The arrest and detention of Ghosn, who remains CEO and chairman of Nissan's capital alliance partner Renault SA, has sparked worldwide criticism of Japan's justice system, which effectively allows a suspect to be held indefinitely and questioned without a lawyer present.

The high-flyer who once sparked criticism for his lavish lifestyle has gone from spacious digs in global capitals to a one-man cell.

He appeared gaunt with sunken cheeks in court although seemed in relatively good health despite an occasional cough.

According to Ghosn's defense counsel, Ghosn has had a high fever since Wednesday evening but his condition has improved.

His wife Carole Ghosn has issued a statement expressing concern over his illness.

Ghosn holds French, Lebanese and Brazilian passports and his children live in the USA, his wife said that her husband is living in "harsh conditions" and enduring "unfair treatment", and that authorities have not let the family speak with medical personnel at the detention center.

Other reports by GizPress

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