Asia Business Channel

Carlos Ghosn indicted on 2 new charges & expected to remain in detention until trial

Tokyo prosecutors have indicted former Nissan Motor Co Chairman Carlos Ghosn on two new charges of financial misconduct, adding to the legal challenges for the once-feted auto executive. The new charges against Ghosn are for aggravated breach of trust for temporarily transferring personal investment losses to Nissan in 2008, and for understating his compensation for three years, from 2015 to 2017,

Ghosn in remarks to the Judge overseeing his case earlier in the week said that the charges against him are “meritless” and that he is innocent of all charges. He also said at that time that he is eager to defend himself against the allegations of wrong doing by Tokyo Prosecutors.

Ghosn’s lawyer said his team was applying for bail to release Ghosn, who has been detained since his Nov 19 arrest but that it is uncommon for defendants in Japan who deny their charges to be granted bail ahead of trial. Earlier this week Ghosn’s legal teams said that he would likely be held until the trial, which could begin in about six months.

His lawyers, in an opinion submitted to the court, argued that Ghosn's actions, including using Nissan's financial standing as collateral to secure currency exchange swaps, were undertaken with the approval of Nissan's board and officers.

The boards of Nissan and its French owner, Renault SA, met this week after the court appearance by Ghosn for an update on the investigations, with Nissan saying in a statement that the company remained committed to the alliance that has strained ties between the two automakers.

Ghosn's wife, Carole, issued a statement on his continued detention on Thursday asking Japanese authorities for more information on her husband's health after it was reported that Ghosn was sick and had a fever, saying she was worried about his recovery.

Ghosn was arrested along with his close aide Greg Kelly, and the two were indicted on Dec 10. Kelly was released on bail on Dec 25 and has since undergone surgery for spinal problems and moved to a residence approved by the court. Before his arrest, he had been scheduled to undergo surgery on Dec 7 in Tennessee, his family said.

In other news, Nissan has terminated the lease of Ghosn's luxury apartment in Tokyo and is planning to terminate other residences provided to Ghosn, including an apartment in Amsterdam and his residence in Paris. As chairman of Nissan, Renault SA and Mitsubishi Motors Corp, Ghosn had access to a string of residences around the world, including additional homes in Beirut and Rio de Janeiro.

Read 75