Ghosn re-arrested on fresh allegations, likely to spend Christmas in detention

Ghosn re-arrested on fresh allegations, likely to spend Christmas in detention

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

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.

Ghosn and another board member Greg Kelly were formally charged last week with falsifying financial reports in underreporting Ghosn's income by about 5 billion yen ($44 million) between 2011 and 2015. Japanese police and prosecutors routinely add new allegations to lengthen a defendant's time behind bars, since each allegation may add up to 20 days.

Nissan and a lawyer for Ghosn declined to comment.

The arrest of an industry icon has triggered global attention and the scandal has raised concerns over the financial health of the Japanese automaker and the future of its alliance with Renault SA of France.

He was given a second arrest warrant on December 10 for allegedly understating an additional 4.27 billion yen (38.4 million US dollars) for the three years through March this year.

Ghosn's lawyer Motonari Otsuru entered the tower-like Tokyo Detention Center where Ghosn and Kelly are held after dark, passing a crowd of waiting camera crews.


The arrest of the high-flying executive on November 19 at Tokyo's Haneda airport has rocked the world's biggest auto alliance, raising questions over whether the decades-long partnership between Nissan and French partner Renault will survive his downfall. He has denounced Ghosn and Kelly as the "masterminds" in a scheme to falsify income reports and abuse company money and assets. But his right-hand man, Kelly, may be released as early as Christmas, with a request for bail filed Friday by Kelly's lawyer pending court approval. Mitsubishi was brought into the alliance in 2016 when Nissan purchased a 34-percent stake in its domestic rival following an emissions scandal in Japan.

Since his arrest, Ghosn has been stripped of his role as chairman at Nissan and Mitsubishi Motors (MMTOF).

However, a veteran criminal court judge raised doubts about the manner in which prosecutors arrested and then re-arrested Ghosn on suspicion of under-reporting his annual remuneration as Nissan chairman.

Nissan, which is pressing Renault for a joint investigation of alliance finances, also wants to re-examine a recent decision to create a new alliance foundation in Switzerland.

In addition to the formal charge of financial misconduct, Ghosn has been accused of a variety of other unproven allegations, including using Nissan funds to purchase a string of luxury homes around the world. He also allegedly had Nissan transfer $14.7 million to another company, prosecutors say. It's rumored senior Nissan executives were against Ghosn's push for a full merger of Nissan with Renault.

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

Earlier this week, Kelly's wife, Donna "Dee" Kelly, published a video statement urging prosecutors to release her husband so that he can receive surgery for a spinal ailment.

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