By on December 20, 2018

Detained in a Tokyo jail since his Nov. 19 arrest, Renault CEO and former Nissan chairman Carlos Ghosn could soon find himself out on bail. A Tokyo district court has rejected an appeal aimed at keeping Ghosn in detention, meaning Christmas might be brighter for the auto industry titan than previously thought.

Meanwhile, Nissan’s scrambling to ensure that, if Ghosn does walk free, he won’t return to a number of glitzy homes.

As reported by Reuters, a Tokyo court just upheld an earlier decision not to renew the executive’s detention for a further 10 days. Ghosn and Nissan board member Greg Kelly were re-arrested on Dec. 10 after Japanese prosecutors handed down indictments, but that only extended their detention for a finite period.

Attempts by the prosecutors to extend the detention met a brick wall, as did their appeal of the court’s earlier ruling. Ghosn and Kelly could emerge from the facility by the weekend, assuming the court accepts their bail request.

Both men were indicted for underreporting the chairman’s income between 2011 and 2014 to the tune of tens of millions of dollars. No charges have been laid for the period 2015-2017. All told, prosecutors (and Nissan) claim Ghosn underreported nearly $80 million to the Japanese finance ministry. The decidedly not white glove treatment afforded to Ghosn by Japanese authorities might be behind the court’s decision.

“They are very nervous about criticism of their approach toward detention,” defence lawyer Masashi Akita told The Guardian. “I think this case has had a big impact on the practice of Japanese justice.”

While those authorities ready their financial misconduct case against Ghosn, Nissan’s trying to change locks. As reported by Bloomberg, Ghosn frequented five homes in Tokyo, Paris, Beirut, Amsterdam, and Rio de Janeiro, each of which was bought or rented with Nissan funds. Nissan has already managed to change the locks at “several” properties, sources claim. In seeking to bar Ghosn from the Rio home, Nissan told a Brazilian court it was “due to a high likelihood of evidence being removed or destroyed.” The Beirut and Rio mansions, worth nearly $12 million combined, are Nissan’s main focus.

Should he be released, Ghosn will be restricted to living in his Tokyo home or a hotel. Leaving the country will require permission from the court.

[Image: Nissan]

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15 Comments on “With Ghosn’s Release Seemingly Imminent, Nissan Tries to Keep Him From Going Home...”

  • avatar

    At this point I want Ghosn to take his seat back at Nissan and flat-out fire everyone involved in this pitiful attempt at a coup.

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      If that’s what this is, then I agree with you.

      • 0 avatar

        Please, it’s not a coup, it’s merely a simple anti-corruption case that will be fully explained by the Japanese government whose ties to large conglomerates are very strictly regulated and all the details will be transparent for any outside observers to verify.


        • 0 avatar

          NO. Does the Japanese government tax future income? If not there is no incentive other than “it’s in the rules” … in which case a fine for not knowing the rules might be appropriate. The future may reveal a huge counter-suit filed here in the USofA.

    • 0 avatar

      Just calling this a “boardroom coup” is understating the situation. It is not Nissan that is holding Ghosn and Kelly in jail, it is the Japanese government, and while successful businessesmen are not so great at generating sympathy, folks should start recognizing Ghosn and Kelly for what they are—political prisoners.

  • avatar
    Jean-Pierre Sarti

    i don’t know why but i am riveted by this case.

    i also cannot help but wonder if the western world had this kind of hard core attitude toward white collar crimes there just might not have been the nonsense from wall street we are used to.

  • avatar
    Land Ark

    This is going to make one hell of a Locked Up Abroad episode.

    I love Japan, unapologetically so. But all of this really stinks.

  • avatar

    I can understand Nissan’s desire to keep Goshn from going home. He has a Brazilian history and can presumably live there indefinitely. Just like Ronald Biggs he may avoid extradition.

    If I were Goshn I’d make my way to Brazil and hideout with my gains. I’ll gotten or otherwise.

  • avatar

    They released him. That was totally unexpected.

    It’s Japan. They NEVER do that.

    • 0 avatar

      Released? Doubtful. Moved from solitary confinement to house arrest is more probable. Sure, there are many innocent folks that get it worse, but still, there is something scary about seeing the government of a country that is largely perceived to be democratic with a high regard for rule-of-law, to act in such an authoritarian manner.

  • avatar

    This from the NYT. Nissan is so lovable, and not above entrapment.

    Sounds not much better than the Middle Ages.

    Other sources say the prosecutors are outraged the judge is granting bail. They are appealing. They have a 99.9% conviction rate, most often never experience judges granting bail in their working lifetime, and besides, this might ruin their stats for 2018. Locking people up in ten day blocks with extensions on pretexts and keeping them incommunicado before trial is their specialty. Discovery, what’s that?

    By contrast, the Chinese Huawei exec out on bail in Canada while a judge prepares for the examination of the validity of the US extradition request against her, the hearing set for Jan 8, gets to live in her $10 million Vancouver home but under external surveillance. Roughing it. And the Chinese are having fits about that, demanding release. Are the French demanding Ghosn’s release? – not that we know of, but the granting of bail makes you wonder what’s happening behind the scenes, it’s so unusual. The Japanese have no habeas corpus requiring charges or release and only allow local lawyers, keeping people in detention till they squeak from daily “questioning”, and the Chinese have no clue about due process in a Western country and refuse to accept it anyway. One is tempted to muse that it must be a societal thing over there, whether in a so-called democracy or in a totalitarian dictatorship. That said, who knows whether Ghosn is a crook or your typical grasping high-flying global exec? Nissan was negotiating his extra pay through its Netherlands subsidiary, the country where FCA NV is registered, so their hands aren’t exactly clean.

    Nissan now wants to run itself by committee, just like it used to before it darn near dropped down the rathole in 1999. Saikawa blew it for his own ascendancy to the throne by being far too ambitious. Ghosn is a braggart but achieved star status in Japan for a few years for rescuing Nissan. he must have overstayed his welcome, fancy that. Now that under his tutelage Nissan has cornered the world market in non-cars with gray plastic interiors and CVTs, they want to dump the star for being too showy and return to being run by faceless career men. They want to buy their way out of the Alliance and mint untold profits. Expect even more exciting Nissans in future.

    What a mess.

  • avatar

    NO. Does the Japanese government tax future income? If not there is no incentive other than “it’s in the rules” … in which case a fine for not knowing the rules might be appropriate. The future may reveal a huge counter-suit filed here in the USofA.Each day equates to more harm.

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