A judge in Tokyo on Tuesday denied an appeal from former Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn for release from detention on bail. Ghosn had offered to surrender his passports, provide his Nissan stock as collateral, agree to stay in Tokyo during the entire time of legal proceedings, report to the police on a daily basis and even wear an ankle monitor. But the judge in the case said “no” and the decision means Ghosn will probably remain in detention until early March.
Ghosn in a written statement to the court said: "I want to emphasize that I will reside in Japan and respect any and all bail conditions the Court concludes are warranted. I will attend my trial not only because I am legally obligated to do so, but because I am eager to finally have the opportunity to defend myself. I am not guilty of the charges against me and I look forward to defending my reputation in the courtroom; nothing is more important to me or to my family."
Ghosn has been in jail in Japan since November as Japanese authorities have investigated allegations he and another Nissan executive, Greg Kelly, did not disclose the full amount of Ghosn's compensation over several years and committed other financial crimes while heading Nissan.
While in detention Ghosn has undergone interrogation for eight or more hours everyday, is housed in a small detention cell, sleeping on tatami mats on the floor and has not been allowed to have direct contact with his family. Due to the harsh conditions, he has been sick and reportedly lost more than 10 kilos of weight.
At a bail hearing earlier this month, Ghosn spoke publicly for the first time about his detention and denied the charges against him. He told the judge at his hearing, "I have been wrongly accused and unfairly detained based on meritless and unsubstantiated accusations."
Japan’s harsh detention system has come under increased international scrutiny and last week, Ghosn's wife Carole, released sent a letter to Human Rights Watch decrying the treatment of her husband and wrote: "For hours each day, the prosecutors interrogate him, browbeat him, lecture him, and berate him, outside the presence of his attorneys, in an effort to extract a confession. No human being should be detained under conditions so harsh that their only plausible purpose is to coerce a confession."