Prosecutors re-arrest Carlos Ghosn on new allegations

Carlos Ghosn

Prosecutors were stunned by the Tokyo District Court's rejection of their request to extend the detention of Carlos Ghosn, with some suggesting the court caved in to global criticism of Japan's judicial system.

Mr Ghosn, 64, and Greg Kelly, an American lawyer and former Nissan executive, have been charged with conspiring to hide from regulators ¥5 billion (£35 million) of pay agreed for the Nissan chairman between 2010 and...

Mr Ghosn's detention has also put into doubt the future of the Alliance - a global vehicle manufacturing group that includes Renault, Nissan and Mitsubishi.

The office of Ghosn's lawyer in Tokyo didn't respond to a request for comment.

Nissan's board is meeting to pick a chairman to replace Carlos Ghosn, arrested last month on charges of violating financial regulations.

He was first arrested in Tokyo in November as allegations of financial misconduct surfaced. "I want to have my position heard and restore my honor in court". Ghosn also profited by having the company transfer a total of $14.7 million to another company to benefit himself and that company's owner, who helped in the contract manipulation, prosecutors said.

Authorities are also widely expected to re-arrest him later Monday over separate allegations that he also under-reported his income by a further four billion over the past three years.

Kelly's wife, Dee Kelly, said the arrests of her husband and Ghosn were the result of a coup by Nissan executives, including Chief Executive Officer Hiroto Saikawa. 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.

Just hours before his new arrest, he had vowed to restore his good name in court and hold a press conference once he was released. The 10-day detention period for the second crime ran out on Thursday.

Gaining bail is still rare in Japan but is occurring more often.

A secret guard stands near step ladders of journalists outside Tokyo Detention Center, where former Nissan chairman Carlos Ghosn and another former executive Greg Kelly, are being detained.

The bail process makes it uncertain whether they will be let out of jail before the new year, said Kana Sasakura, a criminal law professor at Konan University in Kobe.

Nissan and Mitsubishi Motors promptly sacked the tycoon as chairman but Renault kept him on and appointed an interim boss as it waited to assess the legal procedures against him.

Ghosn denies the charges and is in a "combative" frame of mind, according to sources at Renault, the company he still formally leads - even if the French vehicle giant has appointed an interim chairman.

Documents seen by Reuters showed that some discussions about compensating Ghosn out of the public eye were not confined to Nissan, but also included Renault executives.

A Nissan spokesman declined to comment on the court's decision, saying he could only speak about the company's investigations or executive misconduct.

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