Carlos Ghosn: Ex-Nissan chair faces 'two new charges'
13 January, 2019, 12:19
On Tuesday, Ghosn, a Brazilian-born Frenchman of Lebanese ancestry, told a Tokyo court he was innocent, in his first public appearance since his November 19 arrest.
The new charges came only days after Ghosn appeared at a Tokyo court seeking an explanation for his prolonged detention and declared his innocence.
Ghosn has been indicted on two counts of under-reporting his income, and aggravated breach of trust for temporarily shifting personal investment losses worth 1.85 billion yen ($17 million) to Nissan.
The 64-year-old has been formally charged with under-declaring his income by tens of millions of dollars in an apparent bid to quash accusations he was overpaid.
Prosecutors have been interrogating Ghosn since his arrest to try to gather more evidence about the alleged financial irregularities he committed as the head of Nissan.
An indictment in Japan allows prosecutors to lay formal charges, a step that takes them close to trial.
If and when Ghosn will be out on bail, his movements are likely to be restricted to his home or a hotel, and he'll need a court permission to leave the country, legal experts have said.
The claims have heightened worries over the viability of keeping him on as Renault's chief executive. "In all of my efforts on behalf of the company, I have acted honorably, legally and with the knowledge and approval of the appropriate executives inside the company".
On Wednesday, the Tokyo District Court rejected a request filed by Ghosn's defense counsel to end his detention following his arrest on allegations of financial misconduct.
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Mr Ghosn, whose detention has drawn some criticism, denies all wrongdoing. Nissan has also accused Ghosn of misusing company funds, including over homes from Brazil to Lebanon and hiring his sister on an advisory contract.
"In general in such cases in Japan, it is indeed the case that bail is not approved before the first trial does take place", Otsuru told reporters after the hearing, adding that it could be six months before the case comes to trial.
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 was initially held in a small room with traditional Japanese tatami floor mats to sleep on but has now been moved to a larger cell with a Western-style bed.
He complained about the rice-based diet at the detention centre and his family says he has lost up to 20kg.
Kelly, in contrast, was released on bail on December 25 and his lawyer said Friday he has since undergone surgery for spinal stenosis at a hospital in Ibaraki Prefecture and moved to a residence approved by the court.
Ghosn's arrest has exposed rifts in the alliance he forged and led between Nissan, Mitsubishi Motors and France's Renault.
Renault said in a statement Thursday that an internal investigation found all payments to its board members in 2017 and 2018 were in compliance with the law and "free from any fraud".
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