Prosecutors set to indict Nissan's Ghosn again on Friday


The former chairman of the Nissan Motor Co, Carlos Ghosn, was indicted on two new charges of financial misconduct on Friday, adding to existing legal challenges.

Ghosn was initially arrested on November 19 last year for allegedly understating about 5 billion yen (45 million dollars) of his 10-billion-yen compensation during the five years through March 2015.

It appears unlikely that Ghosn will be granted bail until his trial begins, which is expected to take at least six months, Ghosn's chief lawyer Motonari Otsuru said earlier, citing the complexity of a case involving documents in both Japanese and English. The prosecutors haven't officially charged him over these allegations. Those allegations centre on Ghosn's handling of investment losses and payments made to a Saudi businessman.

If and when Ghosn will be out on bail, his movements are likely to be restricted to his home or a hotel, and he'll need a court permission to leave the country, legal experts have said.

The twists and turns of the Ghosn case have riveted Japan and the business world and more than 1,000 people queued up from the early hours to get one of only 14 seats in the public gallery on Tuesday.

It's not uncommon in Japan for suspects to endure lengthy pre-trial detentions.

"I have a genuine love and appreciation for Nissan", Ghosn told the court.

Ghosn's lawyer Otsuru on Tuesday said Nissan had agreed to the arrangement on condition that any losses or gains would be Ghosn's.

The Brazilian-born Frenchman, who is credited with reviving Nissan and remains the chairman of its alliance partner Renault, told a court this week he was innocent of the charges against him.

Including the latest charge, a total of over ¥9.1 billion in Ghosn's pay was allegedly understated in eight years.

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Nissan said earlier that its board had also met Thursday, when directors had received "an updated report" on its own investigations into Ghosn's alleged misconduct. It declared that no fraud was found in 2017-2018 but it is still examining previous years.

Since his arrest, Ghosn has been removed as chairman by Nissan and Mitsubishi.

His wife Carole Ghosn has issued a statement expressing concern over his illness.

"I am pleading with the Japanese authorities to provide us with any information at all about my husband's health".

"We are fearful and very anxious his recovery will be complicated while he continues to endure such harsh conditions and unfair treatment", she added.

Apart from prosecutors, only embassy officials and Ghosn's lawyers are allowed to visit him. Such visits were canceled Thursday but resumed Friday.

Ghosn has been interrogated daily but now will only be questioned with his consent, Kukimoto said.

If proven, each of Ghosn's alleged offense may carry a sentence of as much as 10 years, prosecutors have said.

Ghosn, who denies the allegations, has shown no signs of backing down.

Prosecutors on Friday slapped the 64-year-old with a formal charge of under-declaring his income by around four billion yen ($37 million) over three years from 2015.