Business World

Thursday 17 October 2019

Ex-Nissan chairman Ghosn bailed after 108 days

Former Nissan chairman Carlos Ghosn. Photo: AP
Former Nissan chairman Carlos Ghosn. Photo: AP

Lisa Du, Kae Inoue and Ma Jie

Former Nissan chairman Carlos Ghosn walked out of a Tokyo prison on bail yesterday after 108 days in detention, vowing to fight allegations of financial crimes that could see him jailed for a decade.

Flanked by police officers and wearing a baseball cap, face mask and eyeglasses, Mr Ghosn left the detention centre where he has been held since his November 19 arrest. He went first to the office of one of his Japanese lawyers, where he changed into a business suit. A Tokyo court granted his release and subsequently upheld its decision after an appeal by prosecutors. Bail of 1bn yen (€7.8m) is among the highest ever in Japan.

His surprise arrest and imprisonment on allegations of financial misdeeds roiled the two-decade alliance between Nissan and Renault and cast a harsh light on Japan's legal system. He initially wasn't granted access to lawyers and had two previous bail applications rejected.

"I am innocent and totally committed to vigorously defending myself in a fair trial against these meritless and unsubstantiated accusations," Mr Ghosn, 64, said.

He has agreed to several restrictions. "There will be very intense surveillance," said Francois Zimeray, a French lawyer representing Ghosn's wife and four children. "It's not total liberty. But compared to the nightmare of his incarceration, with minimal rights in the Kosuge jail, for him it's an improvement."


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