Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 16 October 2019

Carlos Ghosn granted bail a second time for $4.5m

Nissan's former chairman walks out of prison on strict terms

Former Nissan chairman Carlos Ghosn leaving the Tokyo detention centre in April. Reuters  
Former Nissan chairman Carlos Ghosn leaving the Tokyo detention centre in April. Reuters  

Former Nissan chairman Carlos Ghosn walked out of a Tokyo prison on bail late on Thursday after agreeing to restrictions on contacting his wife and vowing to fight allegations of financial crimes that could imprison him for up to a decade.

Mr Ghosn's lawyers had applied for a bail in a Tokyo district court on Monday and it was approved a second time on Thursday morning for $4.5 million (Dh16.5m).

“I am grateful that bail has been granted… thankful for my family and supporters in Japan and around the world who fought for my release,” Mr Ghosn said in a statement.

“I maintain my innocence and am committed to vigorously defending myself against these meritless and unsubstantiated accusations. I hope to be given a fair trial where the truth will come to light and I will be fully vindicated.”

A Tokyo court directed that Mr Ghosn cannot meet or communicate with his wife Carole Ghosn without prior permission, as a condition of bail.

"Restricting communications and contact between my wife and me is cruel and unnecessary," said Mr Ghosn.

As part of his previous bail conditions, surveillance cameras had to be fixed at the entrances of Mr Ghosn’s court-approved residence. He is also prohibited from accessing the internet and using email. He can only use a personal computer at his lawyer's office that is not connected to the internet.

Mr Ghosn was initially released on $9m bail in March after spending 108 days in jail but was re-arrested on April 4 on new charges, which his lawyers have strongly contested.

Prosecutors said they believe Mr Ghosn might destroy evidence if released. He has denied all the charges against him and said he is the victim of a boardroom conspiracy.

In a new round of charges filed on April 22, Mr Ghosn was charged with allegedly misdirecting $5m of company funds from July 2017 to July 2018 to a distributor in Oman, according to Tokyo prosecutors.

Mr Ghosn already faces three other charges related to allegedly understating his income and for allegedly transferring personal investment losses to Nissan, which he ran for two decades.

His lawyers have launched a campaign against the Tokyo prosecutors, noting that treatment of Mr Ghosn has violated international and human rights laws.

Mr Ghosn, widely credited with rescuing Nissan from failure and bringing it together with Renault and Mitsubishi Motors, was first arrested in November, sending shockwaves across Japan, France and the global automotive industry.

Until his arrest, Mr Ghosn, 64, led the alliance between Nissan, Renault and Mitsubishi Motors, which produces about 11 million cars annually.

The French government has a 15 per cent stake in Renault and is the largest shareholder in the company. The French carmaker owns 44 per cent of Nissan.

Updated: April 26, 2019 12:27 PM

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