Japanese court denies extended detention of former Nissan boss Carlos Ghosn

Japanese court denies extended detention of former Nissan boss Carlos Ghosn

Ghosn, 64, was lauded as Nissan's saviour after he rescued the carmaker from near bankruptcy two decades ago. Former Nissan representative director Greg Kelly, who was arrested at the same time as Ghosn, has been indicted, too.

The new allegations were reportedly based on suspicions that the Brazilian-born Frenchman had used Nissan to shoulder personal investment losses of about 1.85 billion yen (RM69.4 million) that he had incurred around 2008, Kyodo News said.

A Japanese court has denied prosecutors' request to extend detention of former Nissan chairman Carlos Ghosn.

Ghosn and Kelly are also facing allegations that they underreported Ghosn's pay by about 5 billion yen ($44 million) in 2011-2015, and another 4 billion yen ($36 million) for 2016-2018, for which their first 10-day detention was to expire Thursday.

If found guilty, Ghosn could face a fine of up to JPY 10 million or imprisonment of up to 10 years. He also allegedly had Nissan transfer $14.7 million to another company owned by someone who helped him in that manipulation in a breach of the company's trust, prosecutors say.

The case has gripped the Asian nation as Ghosn had acquired quasi-cult status for rescuing the country's flagship vehicle manufacturers with his life turned into a manga comic book and bento boxes named after him in some restaurants.

Kelly's lawyer, Yoichi Kitamura, told Reuters that Kelly was unlikely to be released before Tuesday because there had not been enough time to complete procedures ahead of a long weekend in Japan.

Public broadcaster NHK said Ghosn could be released on Friday if any appeal by prosecutors is rejected by the court and bail is granted.

While the charges against Ghosn had so far been related to a relatively arcane point of accounting - whether retirement payments were properly booked - the new accusations are for a misdeed that has an actual victim: Nissan. Ghosn's lawyers have said the charge is flawed because the compensation agreement wasn't properly ratified, according to a statement from the office of Motonari Otsuru, Ghosn's lawyer.

Carlos Ghosn who has been accused of financial misconduct in the Renault-Nissan alliance and was arrested for the similar charges may be released as early as Friday in this week.

The 10-day detention period for the second allegation ran out on Thursday, and the court was widely expected to extend it for at least another 10 days.

Renault has so far not replaced Ghosn as its head, saying his compensation had been in compliance with law and governance guidelines.

Since his arrest, Ghosn has been stripped of his role as chairman at Nissan and Mitsubishi Motors (MMTOF). The conviction rate in Japan is more than 99 percent for any crime.

Kelly's wife, Donna "Dee" Kelly, appeared in a video published online Wednesday by The Wall Street Journal in which she said that her husband has been "wrongly accused as part of a power grab by several Nissan executives" led by CEO Hiroto Saikawa. He has denounced Ghosn and Kelly as the "masterminds" in a scheme to falsify income reports and abuse company money and assets.

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