Carlos Ghosn indicted on two new charges

Carlos Ghosn chairman and CEO of the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance attends the Tomorrow In Motion event on the eve of press day at the Paris Auto Show in Paris

His lawyers said Tuesday that he's been granted a bigger room and what they called western-style bed.

The breach of trust charge alleges that 1.8 billion yen ($16.7 million) in damage was caused to Nissan through transactions made by Ghosn, and that $14.7 million was paid to the Saudi businessman. Ghosn has been locked up in a small Tokyo jail cell with a toilet and wash basin since his shock arrest Nov 19.

Ghosn's lawyers asked for the court hearing, his first public appearance, to press for bail saying it was not necessary to keep the tycoon in detention but the request was rejected.

Ghosn's lawyer, Motonari Otsuru, expects his client to be held until trial, which he said could begin in about six months.

His lawyer said on Friday that he would make another request for bail. The prosecutors haven't officially charged him over these allegations.

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

At the end of the almost two-hour hearing, his lawyers applied for him to be freed but the court slapped this down, arguing he was a flight risk and could tamper with evidence if released.

Ghosn has remained in custody at the Tokyo Detention House since his arrest by prosecutors in November for allegedly understating his remuneration in Nissan's securities reports.

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A prosecutor's office spokesperson told AFP that the charges against Ghosn carried a maximum prison sentence of 15 years.

While the two Japanese firms quickly ousted him from leadership roles, Renault has kept him on and its board said Thursday that an ongoing audit has found no sign of fraud in the last two years.

Nissan last weekend put two executives close to Ghosn on leave of absence, suggesting that the internal investigation into the alleged misconduct could be spreading.

Prosecutors on Friday slapped the 64-year-old with a formal charge of under-declaring his income by around four billion yen ($37 million) over three years from 2015.

His wife Carole Ghosn said she had received no information about his health and "pleaded" with Japanese authorities for news.

Renault, which is the biggest shareholder in Nissan, has refrained from removing Ghosn, instead appointing interim replacements. "We are fearful and very anxious his recovery will be complicated while he continues to endure such harsh conditions and unfair treatment".

Nissan said earlier that its board had also met on Thursday, when directors had received "an updated report" on its own investigations into Ghosn's alleged misconduct. Nissan has also accused Ghosn of misusing company funds, including over homes from Brazil to Lebanon and hiring his sister on an advisory contract. Ghosn remains CEO of Renault.

Visits and questioning of the once high-flying industry titan were postponed after Ghosn developed a fever on Wednesday evening.

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