Carlos Ghosn Wants Out of Jail, Japanese Court Keeps Him There

Having spent the winter holidays behind bars in a Japanese prison, former Nissan chairman Carlos Ghosn appeared before a Tokyo court on Tuesday, asking during an appeal for the judges to release him.
Carlos Ghosn in courtroom sketch 1 photo
The court rejected his request, Japan Times says, leaving the former star of the automotive industry with only a few options, including another appeal to a higher court.

During his hearing, which marked his first public appearance since his arrest in November, Ghosn pleaded his innocence saying that all his actions were legal and honorable and, most importantly, approved by the appropriate executives.

Ghosn is accused of having done many illegal and less honorable things in his years at Nissan. The initial accusation was that he conspired with Nissan director Kelly to understate his compensation, thus cheating Japanese authorities of the taxes owed for about $35 million.

Later he was accused of having transferred his personal investment losses over to Nissan during the 2008 financial crisis, causing a $14.7 million loss for the automaker.

Nissan also accused its former leader of having it pay for personal vacations, buy houses and make donations on his behalf.

Under Japanese law, those accused of wrongdoings can be held without charge for ten days, with an equal period being possible as an extension. At the end of that period, formal charges must be made.

To date, Ghosn was served with three arrest warrants on different charges, the last one on December 21. This Friday, his current warrant expires, but it is to be expected authorities will slap him with a fresh one.

The court’s rejection of his appeal means, says Japan Times citing the executive’s lawyer Motonari Otsuru, that Ghosn could remain imprisoned until his trial, which could be months from now.

As for Nissan, the company is now looking at ways to recover from what is likely to become the biggest scandals in its history. Already a set of measures have been announced, meant to ensure a smooth transition to new leadership.


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