Ex-Nissan boss Carlos Ghosn posts £3.5m bail after court grants release for second time

Deposed car industry titan must live at registered address, not leave Japan, and adhere to requirements aimed at preventing destruction of evidence

Ben Chapman@b_c_chapman
Thursday 25 April 2019 09:30
Carlos Ghosn says a 'conspiracy' led to his arrest

Detained ex-Nissan chairman Carlos Ghosn has posted 500 million yen (£3.5m) bail to secure his release from jail for the second time, a Tokyo court said on Thursday.

Under his bail conditions, the deposed car industry titan must live at a registered domestic address, not leave the country and adhere to requirements aimed at preventing the destruction of evidence.

Prosecutors had appealed a decision to release Mr Ghosn on bail, saying that he may tamper with evidence or influence witnesses.

The decision will allow Mr Ghosn more time with his legal team to prepare his defence against charges that he funnelled millions of dollars of company money for his own purposes, including $600,000 (£466,000) of tuition at an Ivy League university for four of his children and $18m on luxury homes in Rio de Janeiro, Beirut and Paris. He has also been charged with under-reporting his pension payments.

Mr Ghosn issued an eight-minute video statement alleging that he had been set up by a ‘conspiracy’
Mr Ghosn issued an eight-minute video statement alleging that he had been set up by a ‘conspiracy’

Mr Ghosn denies all charges.

The latest bail agreement follows 1 billion yen in bail that Ghosn posted for his earlier release.

Former Nissan chairman Carlos Ghosn accompanied by his wife Carole Ghosn

“The only justification for keeping him in detention are that he will flee or destroy evidence,” Stephen Givens, a professor of law at Sophia University in Tokyo, told Bloomberg News before Mr Ghosn’s latest bail decision.

“After the first two indictments, he was able to put together a set of conditions that told the court he wasn’t likely to flee.”

Earlier this month, Mr Ghosn lashed out at Nissan’s top executives for playing “a very dirty game” and orchestrating a “conspiracy” that led to his arrest and detention.

Carlos Ghosn previously left a detention centre on bail disguised in workmen’s clothes

In an eight-minute video, the former Nissan chair said that executives behind the conspiracy were motivated by “selfish fears”, and had mistaken his leadership for greed and dictatorship.

“This is about backstabbing,” Mr Ghosn said in the video. “I’m talking here about a few executives who, obviously for their own interests and for their own selfish fears, are creating a lot of value destruction. Names? You know them.”

Press gather to witness Ghosn leaving a Tokyo Detention House in March (Reuters)

Mr Ghosn added: “We’re talking about people who really played a very dirty game into what’s happening. But hopefully the truth will happen, and the facts will happen.”

His lawyer, Junichiro Hironaka, said the video was prepared in case Mr Ghosn was not able to speak at a press conference.

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