A new move by the Japanese prosecutors against the former Nissan chief Carlos Ghosn has virtually eliminated the chances of being released from jail before Christmas.
On Thursday, a plea for the extension Ghosn’s detention by the Japanese prosecutors was turned down by a Tokyo court which was a small legal victory for Ghosn who has been detained in Tokyo jailed for more than a month, scored a small legal victory on Thursday when a Tokyo court re since the last one month. The initial charge against Ghosn was that of underreporting his income in Nissan’s annual disclosure with the Tokyo Stock Exchange. That court order had increased the possibility of a release on bail for the high-profile auto industry executive.
However those hopes were dashed after he was rearrested on Friday, according to Japanese prosecutors, on additional charges of breach of trust. This means that Ghosn can be now held in detention or at least another two days. That can be extended to a further 10 to 20 days if the charges are approved by court.
The arrest of Ghosn last month had created a huge flutter in the global auto industry and displayed clear fractures in the relationship between Nissan, Renault and Mitsubishi Motors – which are in an alliance which is the largest in the global auto industry.
Following his arrest on November 19, Ghosn was removed from the position of chairman of both Nissan and Mitsubishi Motors but was retained as the chairman of Renault which has appointed an interim management in his absence.
The tendency and the ability of Japanese prosecutors of being able to hold in detention suspects for extended periods without formally charging them has been revealed in the extended detention of Ghosn who is a prominent global business leader.
Kana Sasakura, a law professor at Konan University in Kobe whose also fights against wrongful convictions in Japan said that Ghosn’s case has shown “how awful the Japanese criminal justice system is.”
Ghosn had shifted 1.85 billion yen ($16.6 million) of losses from his private investments onto a Nissan subsidiary during the global financial crisis in October 2008 is the allegations that was the basis of the re-arrest of Ghosn on Friday by Japanese prosecutors.
Last week, a court in Japan indicted Ghosn of having underreported his personal income from Nissan between the period 2010 and 2015 to the tune of more than $40 million which were filed as a part of the Nissan official filing with the Tokyo Stock Exchange. Ghosn can be imprisoned for a maximum of 10 years on those charges if found guilty. He has also been charged of continuing to underreport into 2017 even though he is yet to be indicted in this charge.
According to The Wall Street Journal, his client maintains his innocence and hopes to restore his honour at trial, said Ghosn’s Tokyo-based lawyer Motonari Otsuru.
(Adapted from CNN.com)