Published: Fri, December 21, 2018
Markets | By Otis Pena

Former Nissan boss Carlos Ghosn re-arrested on new allegations

Former Nissan boss Carlos Ghosn re-arrested on new allegations

Japanese prosecutors re-arrested Nissan Motor Co's ousted chairman Carlos Ghosn on fresh allegations of aggravated breach of trust on Friday (Dec 21), dashing chances he would soon be released on bail, media reported.

Kelly's lawyers plan to file for bail Thursday or Friday, Kyodo reported.

In the latest twist in the drama that has shocked the global auto industry, prosecutors added a charge of breach of trust to extend Ghosn's detention, the broadcaster reported, without saying where it got the information.

Both men have already been charged with other crimes, so today's decision does not necessarily mean that they will immediately be released but it will strengthen the argument of their lawyers and families that they should be released on bail, and that their continuing detention is an abuse of the extensive powers enjoyed by the Japanese authorities.

Ghosn was indicted on December 10 for allegedly understating his income by about half over a five-year period from 2010, and was re-arrested for the same alleged crime covering the past three years. Still, the prosecutors have the right to appeal against the district court's decision. Nissan has also accused Ghosn of misusing company funds, including over homes from Brazil to Lebanon.

Mr Ghosn has so far been unable to comment publicly on the allegations against him, which relate to the disclose of compensation worth tens of millions of dollars that he had allegedly arranged to receive later.

His lawyer, Motonari Otsuru, was not available for comment. He and former Nissan executive Greg Kelly, who is also being detained, are also alleged to have continued to underreport Ghosn's income through to March this year, increasing the overall amount by four billion yen. Otsuru is a former head of a special investigation task force of the Tokyo public prosecutor's office. There have been conspiracy theories surrounding Ghosn's arrest.

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Renault has been much more cautious, keeping him on as chairman and CEO and appointing Thierry Bollore as interim boss.

Nissan CEO Hiroto Saikawa traveled to Amsterdam for a December 18 meeting of the alliance between Nissan, Renault and the third partner, Mitsubishi Motors Corp.

Saikawa has emerged as a driving force in the investigation about the alleged wrongdoing by Ghosn and Kelly.

Nissan has shunned demands from Renault to hold a shareholder meeting which would enable the French automaker to weigh in on Nissan's selection of Ghosn's replacement and other executive positions. Renault, Nissan's largest shareholder and the company that bailed out the Japanese automaker two decades back, has been pressing for specifics, as has the French government.

Earlier this week, Saikawa said he would like to share the investigation details with Renault executives. He replied: "That is not my understanding".

This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text.

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