TOKYO (REUTERS) – Japanese prosecutors rearrested Nissan Motor Co’s ousted chairman Carlos Ghosn on fresh allegations of aggravated breach of trust on Friday (Dec 21), dashing chances he would soon be released on bail, media reported.
A Tokyo court had unexpectedly rejected prosecutors’ request to extend Ghosn’s detention a day earlier, which raised the possibility that he could go free on bail as early as Friday.
The rearrest means he could be detained for another 10 days in a Tokyo jail, where he has been confined since he was arrested on initial allegations of financial misconduct.
There was no immediate word on Greg Kelly, who was arrested along with Ghosn and whose detention extension was rejected.
Kyodo News said the new allegations were based on suspicions that Ghosn made the automaker shoulder personal investment losses of about 1.85 billion yen (S$22.7 million) that he had incurred around 2008.
His lawyer, Motonari Otsuru, was not available for comment. The lawyer has previously declined to return calls regarding the Ghosn case.
The dramatic turn of events came hours after Ghosn, through his lawyer and quoted by Japanese public broadcaster NHK, vowed to restore his good name in court and to hold a news conference after his release.
“Things as they stand are absolutely unacceptable,” he was quoted as saying. “I want to have my position heard and restore my honour in court.”
Ghosn was initially arrested on Nov 19 for allegedly understating his income by about half over a five-year period from 2010. He was later charged with the same alleged crime covering the past three years.
Television camera crews had gathered outside the Tokyo jail on Friday morning in hopes of catching sight of Ghosn being released.
The Ghosn case has put Japan’s criminal justice system under international scrutiny and sparked criticism for some of its practices, including keeping suspects in detention for long periods and prohibiting defence lawyers from being present during interrogations, which can last eight hours a day.
Ghosn’s arrest has marked a dramatic fall for a leader once hailed for rescuing Nissan from the brink of bankruptcy.
It has also shaken the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi alliance, with Nissan chief executive Hiroto Saikawa calling for changes to weaken Renault SA’s control.