Ex-Nissan boss Ghosn to spend Christmas and New Year’s Eve in jail after detention extended

  • Tokyo prosecutors continue to grill the tycoon over allegations he transferred a personal investment loss worth millions to the Japanese carmaker
PUBLISHED : Sunday, 23 December, 2018, 4:56pm
UPDATED : Sunday, 23 December, 2018, 10:17pm

Former Nissan boss Carlos Ghosn will be spending Christmas and the beginning of 2019 behind bars after a Tokyo court on Sunday extended his detention until January 1.

“Today, a decision was made to detain [Ghosn]. The full term of the detention will expire on January 1,” the Tokyo District Court said.

The move by the court came as Tokyo prosecutors continue to grill the automobile tycoon over allegations he shifted a personal investment loss worth more than US$16 million to the Japanese carmaker.

The Franco-Brazilian-Lebanese executive earlier hoped to be freed on bail after the court rejected a bid last week by prosecutors to extend his detention over allegations related to under-reporting his income.

But on Friday, prosecutors slapped Ghosn with a fresh arrest warrant over the investment loss, gaining a 48-hour period to keep him in custody before the latest extension was granted.

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The 64-year-old has reportedly denied the allegations, claiming the transactions were legal.

His long detention has sparked criticism, especially from abroad. In Japan, suspects can be “re-arrested” several times for different allegations.

His original November 19 arrest for alleged financial misconduct sent shock waves through the business world.

Carlos Ghosn’s lawyers suggest Nissan planted evidence in flat to ‘compromise his good reputation’

Since then, the once jet-setting executive has languished in a tiny cell in a detention centre in northern Tokyo, where he has complained about the cold and rice-based menu.

Ghosn has told embassy visitors he is being well treated and sources at French car giant Renault have described his frame of mind as “combative” as he fights the charges against him.

After his arrest last month, Nissan and Mitsubishi Motors promptly sacked Ghosn as chairman but Renault kept him on and appointed an interim boss as it waited to assess the legal procedures against him.

Prosecutors formally charged Ghosn on December 10 with financial misconduct for allegedly under-declaring his income by some five billion yen (US$44 million) between 2010 and 2015.

At the same time, they re-arrested him on suspicion of also under-reporting his income by a further four billion yen over the past three years. He has not formally been charged over this allegation.

In addition to charges against Ghosn and his right-hand man Greg Kelly, prosecutors also indicted Nissan itself, as the company submitted the official documents that under-reported the income.

Kelly was also arrested last month.