Prosecutors indict Ghosn on two new charges

Prosecutors indict Ghosn on two new charges

Prosecutors indicted former Nissan Motor Co.

The third charge, for aggravated breach of trust, involves a complex alleged scheme under which Ghosn is said to have tried to transfer losses on foreign exchange contracts to Nissan's books.

Carlos Ghosn's chances of getting out of jail anytime soon took a serious blow on Friday after he was indicted for a second time by Japanese prosecutors building their case against the fallen vehicle executive, who was detained nearly two months ago.

With the latest move, Ghosn and Kelly have been indicted for all the cases for which they were arrested.

Even if bail were granted, Ghosn would not likely be released until Tuesday given that Monday is public holiday in Japan.

He may be accused of understating his salary from 2015 to 2018, three years more than the original charge that he under-reported some five billion yen ($44 million) in income over five years from 2010.

Ghosn's wife, Carole, painted a glum picture of her husband's state, saying she's fearful for his health and that he's been denied access to his family since the November 19 arrest in Tokyo. Nissan Chief Executive Hiroto Saikawa has denounced Ghosn, accusing him of using the company's money and assets for personal gain.

Ghosn's defense lawyers said they will still seek his release on bail despite the new charges.

Nissan, which ousted Ghosn as chairman days after his November 19 arrest, said in a statement it remained committed to the alliance in the wake of the scandal that has strained ties with its French 43.4-percent owner.

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"In general in such cases in Japan, it is indeed the case that bail is not approved before the first trial does take place", he said, adding that it could be six months before the case comes before a judge.

Kelly and Nissan were not charged with breach of trust.

And with each formal charge, prosecutors can hold Ghosn for two months of pre-trial detention, which is also renewable.

Ghosn's spectacular downfall following his arrest in November has shaken the worldwide auto industry and strained the alliance he built between Nissan (NSANY), Renault and Mitsubishi Motors (MMTOF).

Renault said in a statement Thursday that an internal investigation found all payments to its board members in 2017 and 2018 were in compliance with the law and "free from any fraud".

But Ghosn's close aide Kelly, 62, who was arrested along with the former chairman for allegedly understating remuneration, has been released on bail, while denying the allegations.

Nissan said an internal investigation began in the middle of a year ago after whistleblowers came forward.

Renault, which is the biggest shareholder in Nissan, has refrained from removing Ghosn, instead appointing interim replacements. It also reported, citing unidentified investigation sources, that Ghosn had discussed the possibility of extending a three billion yen (S$37.5 million) loan to a business run by a Saudi acquaintance who later provided collateral for a personal investment.

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