Ex-Nissan Chairman Ghosn Denies New Charges After Being Rearrested

Jeannie Matthews
April 6, 2019

Nissan's former Chairman Carlos Ghosn, facing financial misconduct charges in Japan, said he will hold a news conference on April 11.

After being held for 108 days at the Tokyo Detention House in the Kosuge district of Tokyo, Ghosn was released on bail on March 6.

Released on $9 million bail last month, Ghosn has denied the charges, calling them "meritless" and saying he was the victim of a boardroom coup.

Mr Ghosn's sudden emergence on Twitter - which in 24 hours garnered nearly 43,000 followers before he was re-arrested on Thursday - has raised questions about whether the former Nissan boss violated the strict terms of his $9 million bail, which his lawyer has denied.

Earlier, Japan's Yomiuri newspaper reported that Tokyo prosecutors are preparing to build a fresh case against him over suspect payments the automaker made to a business partner in Oman. "As a civilized country this is something that must not be accepted". Ghosn had been free on bail, and detaining him once again marks an unusual development in the case. "This is meant to hurt Mr. Ghosn and give more advantage to the prosecutors' side". After that, prosecutors can extend the detention for up to 20 more days, with court approval.

Former Nissan chief Carlos Ghosn has been re-arrested in Tokyo while out on bail pending trial over claims of financial misconduct.

His lead lawyer, Junichiro Hironaka, said prosecutors wanted to silence Ghosn who on Wednesday tweeted plans to hold his first press conference on April 11.

He added: "Why arrest me except to try to break me? I will not be broken", he said, insisting that he is innocent.

But Ghosn's lawyer, who will give a press conference later Thursday, told reporters that prosecutors were engaging in "hostage justice". "I am confident that if tried fairly, I will be vindicated", Ghosn wrote.

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The latest arrest focuses on allegations Ghosn diverted company money for personal gain.

Representatives for Ghosn could not be reached for comment about the tweet. In the latest charges, Kukimoto said, it was "for his own personal benefit".

A lawyer, another acquaintance, was involved in setting up and operating the company, the sources said. Several other Nissan officials have been questioned by the prosecutors as part of the investigation.

Around ¥1.7 billion ($21.7 million) was initially paid from the CEO's discretionary fund to Nissan's distributor in Oman.

Suhail Bahwan, the owner of SBA, is a long-time friend of Ghosn.

His team also said that the purchase of the multi-million dollar yacht has noting to do with Nissan and described their client's rearrest this morning as being "extremely inappropriate". They suspect Ghosn used $5 million of that for personal expenditure. Funds were then transferred to a Lebanese company named Good Faith Investment, which counted a Ghosn childhood friend as a shareholder, the person said, citing the Renault probe.

The ex-auto tycoon was served a fourth arrest warrant by prosecutors over new allegations of aggravated breach of trust.

If found guilty, he faces a sentence of up to 15 years in prison. The company is a co-defendant on the under-reporting of compensation charges. "That's why we have made a new decision for this re-arrest".

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