A month after his surprise arrest in Japan, and when no one expected it, Carlos Ghosn can hope to be released soon on bail: the Tokyo court on Thursday rejected the prosecution’s request to extend his custody.
A month after his surprise arrest in Japan, and when no one expected it, Carlos Ghosn can hope to be released on bail soon: the Tokyo court on Thursday rejected the prosecution’s request to extend his custody. The leader could be released on bail as early as Friday.
A twist in this incredible affair which plunged the Renault-Nissan automotive alliance into turmoil, the 64-year-old leader could theoretically be released on Friday, in exchange for the payment of a deposit, according to the NHK public channel.
The prosecution was visibly taken aback by the humiliating rejection of his request to extend Mr. Ghosn’s custody until December 30. It is indeed very rare in Japan for a court to oppose this type of request. “We requested an extension because we felt it was necessary. It will have an impact but we will do our best, ”Deputy Prosecutor Shin Kukimoto said at a press conference. What will happen now? “It appears that the prosecutor’s office is speeding up the deadline for an additional indictment,” NHK reported.
The Franco-Lebanese-Brazilian has already been indicted on December 10 for failing to declare to the stock market authorities approximately 5 billion yen (38 million euros) in income over five years, from 2010 to 2015. His right-hand man Greg Kelly, arrested at the same time as him, was also indicted. But the custody of the two men had been extended on new suspicions of a reduction in his emoluments, this time between 2015 and 2018, for an amount of 4 billion yen (31.1 million euros).
“The court no doubt ruled that it was already possible to decide whether or not to indict him on the second ground without the need to prolong the custody,” commented lawyer Yasuyuki Takai, former member of the special unit of the Tokyo prosecutor’s office, which is investigating the powerful industry boss. “In addition, it is possible that he is arrested for a third reason, we do not know,” he added. Even if Mr. Ghosn’s police custody ends on Thursday, he still remains in detention on the first ground of indictment.
Carlos Ghosn, who suffered a brutal fall when he was picked up from his private jet on November 19, is currently staying in a cell in a Tokyo detention center and is “combative”, Renault said. recently. His lawyer, Motonari Ohtsuru, also describes him as “mentally strong”, according to the Jiji news agency. He prepared to post a bond of several hundred million yen. A house has been prepared for him in Japan, but since he remains CEO of Renault an application will be filed to allow him to live abroad, Jiji reports.
During the hearings, Mr. Ghosn would have admitted to having signed documents mentioning payments that he was supposed to receive when leaving Nissan but he assures, according to the press, that these amounts were not definitively established and therefore had not not to be included in the company’s public reports.
It is an internal investigation carried out within the Japanese manufacturer which led to the arrest of Carlos Ghosn, sacked in the wake of the presidency of the board of directors. Nissan, indicted as a legal entity in the case which revealed the governance gaps within the group, declined to comment on the court ruling, while recalling having decided to revoke Carlos Ghosn “based on substantial and convincing evidence”.
He was also removed from the presidency of Mitsubishi Motors, while Renault kept him in his post, a situation which has caused a crisis unprecedented since the birth of the alliance in 1999.
The discord seemed to intensify over the days between the two partners: Nissan failed on Monday to appoint a replacement for Mr. Ghosn, under pressure from Renault which at the same time called for a general meeting of shareholders. “There is an urgent need to resolve the basic problems to get back to work,” insisted on Thursday a senior official of the French manufacturer. “For one, Mr. Ghosn is presumed innocent, for the other he is presumed guilty, this is the main difference”, summarized Wednesday a source close to the file.
If the management of Renault has shown its support, the executive boss of Nissan, Hiroto Saikawa, on the contrary had very harsh words towards his ex-mentor, each time invoking the conclusions of his own investigations.
In addition to the accusations of concealing income, the company accuses its former savior of the abuse of corporate assets, a reason that has not yet been raised by the courts.