Nissan ex-chairman Ghosn files complaint over detention

Renault-Nissan Chairman and CEO Carlos Ghosn gestures while addressing a press conference in Chennai, Indiaon July 16, 2013. (AFP pic)

TOKYO: Carlos Ghosn, the ousted chairman of Nissan Motor, has filed a complaint against a court decision to extend his detention following his re-arrest on fresh allegations of financial misconduct, the Tokyo District Court said on Tuesday.

Ghosn was arrested on Nov 19 on suspicion of conspiring to understate his compensation by about half of the actual 10 billion yen (US$88 million) awarded over five years from 2010. He has been held in a Tokyo jail since then for questioning.

Ghosn was officially charged on Monday. He was also re-arrested on fresh allegations of understating his income for three more years through March 2018, with the Tokyo District Court approving his detention until Dec 20.

From indictment, cases typically take months to go to trial, during which most suspects who deny wrongdoing are refused bail.

Ghosn’s lawyer in Tokyo, Motonari Otsuru, could not be reached at his office for comment.

Nissan, which fired Ghosn as chairman days after his arrest, has said the misconduct was masterminded by the executive with the help of former Representative Director Greg Kelly, who was also indicted on Monday. Kelly will also remain detained until Dec. 20, the district court said.

Ghosn’s arrest marks a dramatic fall for a leader once hailed for rescuing Nissan from the brink of bankruptcy.

The executive has been treated like others in detention, held in a small, chilly room, with limited opportunities to shower and shave, a person familiar with the matter has said.

Asked about criticism that Japanese prosecutors often try to force confessions from suspects, deputy prosecutor at the Tokyo District Public Prosecutors Office, Shin Kukimoto, has said no such method was being used with Ghosn and Kelly.