Carlos Ghosn given bail on Japanese fraud charges

Carlos Ghosn, the former chairman of Nissan, has been given bail, set at ¥1bn (£6.8m) after spending more than three months in prison in Japan on charges of financial misconduct

Ghosn was unexpectedly arrested by the Japanese authorities in November last year and is facing charges of violating the Japan Financial Instruments and Exchange Act, by making false disclosures relating to the executive’s pay in annual securities reports and for understating his remuneration package.

As well as being dismissed from his leadership role at Nissan, Ghosn resigned as chief executive and chairman of Renault, but has always denied any wrongdoing.

His lengthy detention attracted considerable international criticism, and two previous applications for bail were refused on the ground he posed a flight risk. 

Ghosn’s strict bail conditions include limitations on his movements and his use of his mobile phone and electronic and other communications. His computer access is restricted to his lawyer's office during weekday daytime hours.

It is likely to be several months before Ghosn goes on trial. According to the indictment, Ghosn was actually paid ¥1.78bn (£12.4m) in the year ended March 2011 but Nissan reported only ¥982m. For the four years from April 2011 to March 2015, Ghosn’s actual compensation was ¥8.08bn but Nissan reported only half that amount, prosecutors claimed.

In a statement via his lawyers just before his release on bail, Ghosn said: ‘I am innocent and totally committed to vigorously defending myself in a fair trial against these meritless and unsubstantiated accusations.

‘I am extremely grateful for my family and friends who have stood by me throughout this terrible ordeal. I am also grateful to the NGOs and human rights activists in Japan and around the world who fight for the cause of presumption of innocence and a fair trial.’

Report by Pat Sweet

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