Carlos Ghosn challenging his month-long detention in Japan
A Japanese court has rejected a complaint filed by former Nissan Chairman Carlos Ghosn over a decision to extend his three-week detention by another 10 days.
Tokyo prosecutors on Monday indicted Ghosn, 64, on accusations he under-reported his income in Nissan corporate filings by about 5 billion yen ($44 million) between 2010 and 2015.
They also rearrested him on additional allegations that he also under-reported his income by more than 4.2 billion yen ($38 million) between 2015 and 2017.
By rearresting Ghosn, one of the global auto industry’s most prominent figures, the prosecutors will be able to continue holding him for questioning.
The Tokyo District Court said Tuesday that it had approved extending the detention of Ghosn and Greg Kelly, a former Nissan director accused of helping Ghosn under-report his income, through December 20.
Both men were first arrested on November 19.
Later on Tuesday, the court said it had rejected the legal challenge from Ghosn.
The complaint from Ghosn was notable because he and Kelly are yet to issue any public statements about their arrest and the allegations against them.
Ghosn has remained silent as the boards of Nissan (NSANY) and its partner Mitsubishi Motors (MMTOF) have fired him as chairman, and as France’s Renault (RNSDF) has temporarily replaced him as chairman and CEO.
Japanese public broadcaster NHK reported Monday, citing unidentified sources, that Ghosn is denying the allegations against him. His Tokyo-based lawyer didn’t respond to a request for comment Tuesday.
His indictment Monday means he has to apply for bail, and it’s unusual for indicted suspects who deny the charges against them to be granted bail in Japan.
The indictments of Ghosn and Kelly also raise the prospect of a challenging court battle for both men. More than 99% of people charged with a crime in Japan are eventually convicted, according to experts. The maximum punishment in Japan for filing a false financial statement is 10 years in prison and a fine of 10 million yen ($89,000).
Prosecutors also indicted Nissan on Monday over the company’s reporting of Ghosn’s compensation.
Nissan said last month that an internal investigation discovered “significant” financial misconduct by Ghosn and Kelly following a whistleblower report. The company began cooperating with prosecutors before the arrest of the two men.
Nissan CEO Hiroto Saikawa told reporters Monday following the indictments that the company is “ready to be held accountable” for what happened in order to put the “serious fraud” behind it.
“I believe creating a better path for the company is more important than anything else,” he said.