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April 23, 2019

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Home » Business » Auto

Embattled ex-Nissan boss faces yet another charge

Japanese authorities yesterday hit former Nissan boss Carlos Ghosn with a fresh charge of aggravated breach of trust, the fourth indictment against the former Nissan boss who promptly filed for bail.

Experts say the latest charge is the most serious yet leveled against the auto sector legend, whose roller-coaster case has gripped Japan and the business world since his dramatic arrest in November over alleged financial misconduct.

According to a statement from Tokyo’s prosecutors’ office, Ghosn is accused of funneling millions of dollars in Nissan funds to a dealership in the Middle East and syphoning off around US$5 million for personal use.

The transfers were made “with the purpose of benefiting himself by receiving part of the money,” prosecutors charged. Shin Kukimoto from the Tokyo prosecutors’ office told reporters they had “enough evidence for guilty verdicts.”

However, the 65-year-old strenuously denies all allegations against him and insists they have been cooked up in a “plot” by Nissan executives wary of his plans to bring the Japanese car giant closer to its French partner Renault.

A Ghosn spokesperson said the former tycoon would “continue to vigorously defend himself against these baseless accusations and fully expects to be vindicated.”

Ghosn’s lead lawyer, Junichiro Hironaka, filed for bail just hours after the charge. He said he was confident his client would be released as he prepares to fight the allegations.

“In order to prove his innocence at a trial as soon as possible, we want (the court) to approve our bail request so that we can prepare a good defense,” Hironaka told reporters.

Ghosn has already won bail once before — but with strict conditions such as agreeing not to leave the country and living under surveillance. Yesterday was the end of the maximum period authorities had to question Ghosn, who is now technically in pre-trial detention.


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