Former Nissan chairman Carlos Ghosn’s supposed bail out of jail this weekend for Christmas has hit a snag after the Tokyo District Public Prosecutors Office served a fresh warrant of arrest this morning (December 21), accusing Ghosn of aggravated breach of trust under the Companies Act.
If found guilty, Ghosn could face a fine of up to JPY 10 million or imprisonment of up to 10 years.
The fresh arrest warrant comes after prosecutors were denied their request for extension of detention by the Tokyo District Court yesterday, December 20.
Japanese law sets a detention limit of 23 days for arrest warrants served by police, and 22 days for arrest warrants served by prosecutors. However, authorities can add further charges with fresh warrants, meaning a person can be detained indefinitely if a court approves. Prior to the new warrant, Ghosn's legal team was reportedly preparing an application for bail.
The new arrest warrant accuses the former Nissan chief executive of shifting personal investment losses amounting to JPY 1.85 billion ($16 million) to the company (Nissan) in 2008. It was discovered that the massive losses were linked to a contract over derivative transactions made by his asset management company and a bank.
Ghosn is also suspected of having about JPY 1.63 billion ($14.7 million) transferred from a Nissan subsidiary bank account to an account he designated on four occasions between 2009 and 2012.
Ghosn earlier told his lawyer that he had planned to shift the investment losses to the company but stopped short of doing so.
The statute of limitations for aggravated breach of trust is seven years, but the Tokyo District Public Prosecutors Office's special investigation unit probing the case has apparently deemed that the statute of limitations does not include the time he was overseas.
Ghosn along with former Nissan representative director Greg Kelly were arrested on November 19 on charges of violating the Financial Instruments and Exchange Act for allegedly underreporting the former chairman’s JPY 10 billion salary by nearly JPY 5 billion over a five-year period until March 2015. The two were indicted on December 10 and were served a new arrest warrant for the same charges with another alleged misdoing of underreporting JPY 4 billion over a three-year period until March 2018.
Prosecutors were apparently planning to indict the pair on December 28, right before the New Year break for the second set of underreporting charges. However, the court’s decision to dismiss their request for extension of detention of the suspects yesterday prompted them to take a new course of action.
Kelly, who was not yet a Nissan representative director until 2012, was not served a new arrest warrant today, his defense lawyer has asked the court to release him on bail.
Source: The Mainichi