Japanese court denies extended detention of former Nissan boss Carlos Ghosn

A Japanese court has denied prosecutors' request to extend the detention of former Nissan chairman Carlos Ghosn, who has been charged with under-reporting his pay.

Thursday, 20th December 2018, 7:02 am
Updated Thursday, 20th December 2018, 7:08 am
Carlos Ghosn, former CEO and chairman of Nissan. Picture: PA.

The Tokyo District Court said it rejected the request for another 10-day detention for Ghosn over an additional allegation dealing with financial reports in most recent years.

The denial is extremely rare in a country where requests from investigative authorities for extended detention are almost automatically approved.

If a bail request by his lawyer is accepted by the court, Ghosn may be released as early as Thursday.

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Prosecutors are expected to appeal against the court decision and could take further legal steps to allow them to investigate Ghosn and co-accused Greg Kelly longer.

Ghosn was arrested on November 19, along with Kelly, another executive, over allegations that they under-reported Ghosn's pay by about five billion yen (£35 million) in 2011-2015.

Both have since been charged with violation of Financial Instruments and Exchange Act for the five-year period.

Tokyo prosecutors last week added a second allegation that the two also under-reported another four billion yen (£28 million) in Ghosn's pay for 2016-2018, for which their first 10-day detention was to expire later Thursday.

Prosecutors allege Ghosn's pay was under-reported by nearly 10 billion yen (£63 million).

The maximum penalty for violating the financial law is up to 10 years in prison, a 10 million yen (£70,000) fine, or both. The conviction rate in Japan is more than 99%.

The arrest of an industry leader has triggered international attention and criticism over his nearly month-long custody at Tokyo Detention House.

Prosecutors faced criticism for separating the same allegation into two periods as a tactic to keep Ghosn and Kelly in detention.

Prosecutors say Ghosn and Kelly are flight risks. No trial date has been set.