Japanese court denies extended detention of former Nissan boss Carlos Ghosn

Japanese court denies extended detention of former Nissan boss Carlos Ghosn

A Tokyo court rejected a request from prosecutors to extend Carlos Ghosn's jail detention, giving the former Nissan Motor Co. chairman a chance to seek bail and fight allegations of under-reporting of his income.

The Franco-Brazilian-Lebanese businessman is accused of transferring 14.5 million euros from Nissan accounts to another company for his own benefit.

On Dec. 10, Ghosn and Kelly were charged with underreporting about $43 million worth of income in Nissan's annual reports for the five fiscal years through March 2015.

Ghosn has not yet responded to the latest allegation but he has consistently denied all prior accusations made against him, the BBC report added.

Foreign media organizations covering the Ghosn case have criticized the judicial system, which allows prosecutors to keep suspects in detention indefinitely through re-arrests and indictments.

The denial is extremely rare in a country where requests from investigative authorities for extended detention are nearly automatically approved.

Japanese prosecutors re-arrested former Renault Nissan Mitsubishi Alliance boss Carlos Ghosn on Friday on new charges.

By detaining him longer, prosecutors are making it more hard for Ghosn to start mounting a defense. "I want to have my position heard and restore my honour in court". But his right-hand man, Kelly, may be released next week, with a request for bail filed Friday by Kelly's lawyer pending court approval.

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The lawyer, Yohei Kitamura, later told Reuters that Kelly was unlikely to be released before Tuesday because there was not enough time to complete procedures, including the payment of any bail that might be set.

Nissan declined to comment on the court's decision.

While Nissan ousted Ghosn from his role as chairman shortly after the initial arrest, Renault has so far not replaced him. Friday's new allegation would allow prosecutors two days before seeking a likely court approval of extending Ghosn's detention up to 20 more days, meaning he would have to stay in the Tokyo Detention House until January 11, way past Christmas and New Year holidays, most likely without turkey or pumpkin pie.

Authorities are also widely expected to re-arrest him later Monday over separate allegations that he also under-reported his income by a further four billion over the past three years.

If he is convicted over this, the sentence is the same but is more likely to result in time behind bars.

He was seen as the glue holding together the fractious alliance and his arrest has exposed major rifts between Nissan - which makes the most money - and Renault, the dominant shareholder.

In addition to Ghosn, Nissan as well as former representative director Kelly, who was accused of wrongdoing and arrested with Ghosn, were also indicted December 10. On that day, the prosecution asked the court to order Ghosn to stay in custody. Renault has appointed interim management but kept Ghosn on the payroll. He replied: "That is not my understanding".

In an April 22, 2010 email to Sepehri and one other recipient, Kelly wrote: "I greatly appreciate the work you have done to analyze whether part of the CEO's compensation can be paid by RNBV without disclosing it publicly".

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