Carlos Ghosn: Ex-Nissan chair faces 'two new charges'

11 Janvier, 2019, 13:28 | Auteur: Auguste Feret

His lawyer said on Friday that he would make another request for bail.

It is uncommon for defendants in Japan who deny charges to be granted bail ahead of trial, a practice that has drawn widespread criticism, including from Ghosn's defense team.

Japanese media reports have suggested new charges could be levied against him on Friday, which could ensure he remains jailed.

Prosecutors have further indicted him for aggravated breach of trust and a separate charge of understating his income for another three years, after already facing a charge of doing the latter between 2010 and 2015.

He also faces questioning in connection with alleged attempts to transfer personal investment losses to Nissan and making unnecessary payments to a Saudi associate from company funds.

But afterwards Ghosn's lawyer said it would be "very difficult" to win bail and it could be months before his case is heard.

And that, he said, could take at least six months.

The Tokyo District Court has rejected a request by Ghosn's lawyers to end his detention following his November 19 arrest on accusations of financial misconduct, Jiji Press reported on Wednesday.

One of the most recognisable foreign executives in Japan, Ghosn was led into Tokyo District Court in handcuffs and with a rope around his waist, and was noticeably thinner after more than 50 days of prison food.

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In his statement, Ghosn also listed his achievements during his time as head of Nissan, and added: "I have a genuine love and appreciation for Nissan". The judge, Yuichi Tada, said it was because he was considered a flight risk, and the possibility of concealing evidence.

The Yomiuri Shimbun said US$100 million was paid to sales agents in five Middle Eastern countries from Ghosn's special "CEO reserve".

Ghosn's prolonged detention has also raised foreign awareness of the Japanese justice system that has come under fire internationally for allowing suspects to be detained nearly indefinitely.

Even if bail were granted, Ghosn would not likely be released until Tuesday given that Monday is public holiday.

The jet-setting high-flyer who once sparked criticism for his lavish lifestyle has gone from spacious digs in worldwide 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.

This week he suffered a fever that prompted prosecutors to suspend their interrogations, though his lawyer said Friday that Ghosn's temperature had gone back down.

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