Sunday, 19th September 2021

Ex-Nissan chief Ghosn released on bail

Tokyo, March 6 (IANS): Former Nissan Motor chairman Carlos Ghosn was released from a Tokyo detention facility on Wednesday after more than 100 days of incarceration in a case of financial misconduct.

Ghosn, 64, had been charged with under-reporting his remuneration in Nissan’s securities reports and aggravated breach of trust, but he denies any wrongdoing. His previous requests for bail were turned down and his lengthy detention has drawn international criticism.

A Tokyo court made the surprise decision to allow his release on Tuesday, setting bail at 1 billion yen ($8.9 million), the BBC reported.

He left the detention centre after a “terrible ordeal” of 108 days surrounded by guards, wearing a cap and white medical face mask.

Ghosn, who must stay in Japan after his release, will live in a court-approved residence in Tokyo and prepare for a trial that could begin late this year. He will also have to remain under limited video surveillance and will only be granted restricted access to the use of mobile phones and computers.

Ghosn, who was arrested in November 2018, would also be required not to contact Nissan executives or others involved in the case, to prevent any attempt at tampering of evidence.

“I am innocent and totally committed to vigorously defending myself in a fair trial against these meritless and unsubstantiated accusations,” he said in a statement released on Tuesday.

Ghosn was the architect of the alliance between Nissan and the French carmaker Renault. He brought Mitsubishi on board in 2016.

He ran the alliance of the three global carmakers as both Chief Executive and Chairman and had claimed his arrest was the result of a “plot and treason” against him — a bid by some Nissan executives wanting to stop his plan to integrate Renault, Nissan and Mitsubishi, the BBC reported.

His imminent release from the detention centre was signalled by the arrival of a car from the Embassy of France.

“Carlos Ghosn is being released. He is a French citizen. He will be able to defend himself with greater ease. So much, the better,” French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire told Europe 1 radio.

“But my responsibility as finance and economy minister is to make sure that hundreds of thousands of jobs at Renault and at the Renault-Nissan alliance are protected,” the Minister added.

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