Former Nissan executive Kelly leaves jail on bail after a month of detention
The director was arrested along with former chairman Carlos Ghosn last month
Greg Kelly, the Nissan Motor director arrested along with former chairman Carlos Ghosn, was freed from jail, with a court granting him bail after he spent more than a month in a Tokyo detention centre.
Tokyo District Court set Kelly’s bail at 70 million yen (Dh2.33m), according to the Tokyo prosecutors’ office. He was arrested on November 19 and indicted for allegedly helping the car titan under-report his compensation by tens of millions of dollars. Both Mr Ghosn and Mr Kelly denied the charges through their lawyers.
“Today I returned to the outside world after making bail,” Mr Kelly said in a statement provided by his lawyer to Japan's NHK, which was broadcast in Japanese. “I look forward to receiving a court judgment of innocence, restoring my name and returning to my family as soon as possible."
Japanese prosecutors lost an appeal against the granting of bail, allowing the US citizen to leave jail late on Tuesday evening. His departure from the detention centre in a taxi, with helicopters and motorcycles following, was televised by local media.
The court set conditions for the bail, including a ban on leaving Japan. Mr Kelly is not allowed to contact people involved in the allegations, and needs to live at an address approved by the court.
Mr Kelly’s release will help him mount a defence while Mr Ghosn remains in jail. He was re-arrested last week for a more serious allegation that he transferred his personal trading loss to Nissan in 2008. Mr Kelly was not included in the additional charge.
Mr Ghosn will be held until January 1 over the new allegation, the Tokyo District Court said on Sunday. His confinement could be extended for another 10 days after that. The handling of the two men’s cases drew scrutiny on Japan’s justice system, which allows prosecutors to hold those suspected of crimes for weeks without charges.
The Japanese car maker called Mr Kelly, a Nissan veteran and the only American to serve on its board, a mastermind of a criminal plot to under-report his boss’s income, and asked its staff to refrain from any communication with Mr Ghosn and Mr Kelly or their lawyers.
Dee Kelly, wife of the Nissan director, said in a video released through a lawyer on Sunday that her husband is “a man of honour and integrity” who “holds himself to the highest ethical standards”. She repeated that he had done nothing wrong and said he had been “caught up in an international plot by some at Nissan to take control”.
Mrs Kelly also said several US government officials had supported efforts to arrange for his return to Tennessee.
Inside Nissan, Mr Kelly was known as the chief of staff who would deliver the most delicate messages to Mr Ghosn, and the man Mr Ghosn would count on to enforce his directives.
Updated: December 26, 2018 12:55 PM