Carlos Ghosn, ex-Nissan chief, has been released from jail in Japan
Ousted Nissan chief Carlos Ghosn has been released from jail in Japan, less than a month after he was re-arrested on new charges.
A Tokyo district court announced earlier Thursday that Ghosn was granted bail at 500 million yen ($4.5 million). Prosecutors had tried to reverse the decision, but their appeal was rejected by the court.
Ghosn’s release is the latest development in a legal saga that has seen the former chairman of Nissan and Renault arrested multiple times and twice jailed.
He had previously been released on bail in early March after spending 108 days in custody.
The auto executive was re-arrested at the beginning of April on new charges of financial misconduct. Prosecutors accuse him of funneling $5 million of Nissan’s money to a car dealership he controlled.
“I maintain my innocence and am committed to vigorously defending myself against these meritless and unsubstantiated accusations,” Ghosn said in a statement emailed to reporters following his release.
The deposed auto titan is also awaiting trial on separate charges that he understated his income for years and abused his position by transferring personal investment losses to Nissan.
He denies those charges and has accused executives at Nissan of conspiring to remove him from power.
“This is about a plot, this is about conspiracy, this is about backstabbing,” Ghosn said in a video that was recorded before he was re-arrested.
Since he was first arrested in November, Ghosn has been ousted from his positions at Nissan and Mitsubishi, and resigned as chief executive and chairman of Renault. It is a stunning fall for an industry titan once heralded as a visionary, and credited with building a powerful global autos alliance.
Nissan declined to comment on Ghosn being granted bail, saying that an internal investigation “uncovered substantial evidence of blatantly unethical conduct” by its former chief.
The Japanese carmaker issued a profit warning on Wednesday, saying that operating profit for the 2018 fiscal year was likely to drop 45% from the previous year to 318 billion yen ($2.8 billion).
Yoko Wakatsuki and Julia Horowitz contributed to this report.