New turn of events in the judicial process on Carlos Ghosn, the former president of the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi alliance, the one that sells the most automobiles from all over the world. The Japanese prosecutor's office accused the industralist this Friday of a new crime, the one of "violation of aggravated confidence", for allegedly making Nissan assume the losses of several private investments. The filing of a new arrest warrant for this charge – the third against him – removes the possibility that Ghosn will be released on bail before the end of the year.
Carlos Ghosn was arrested on November 19 in Tokyo next to his right hand, Greg Kelly. Both have been accused of hiding to the treasury up to half the remuneration of the former president of the alliance for eight years, the equivalent of about 72 million euros in total. After meeting the maximum periods allowed for preventive detention, the Japanese Justice refused on Thursday to extend its time behind bars, which led to think about its release imminently. But the prosecution counterattacked this Friday with an alleged new crime.
The manager, prosecutors say, would have tried to cover a series of failed personal investments attributing these losses, of around 14.5 million euros, to Nissan's accounts. According to sources of the investigation to the local agency Kyodo, Ghosn would have invested in financial derivatives and would have incurred heavy losses due to the stock market crash resulting from the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers in 2008. The Japanese law penalizes up to 10 years in prison when a high position of a company acts against its functions and inflicts damage to the company, in this case accounting.
Japan establishes a limit of 22 days in prison for the arrest warrants requested by prosecutors. This period ended on December 10, but then a second order was issued for new evidence that the concealment of salary transcended the five years initially investigated. After another ten days in custody, on Thursday the court in Tokyo that has taken the case rejected by surprise further extend the detention. Now it will have to decide again on this issue with these new evidence presented by the prosecution, which will try to extend at least 10 days more the provisional prison, during which the accused can be interrogated without the presence of his lawyer. At the moment, Ghosn has only been formally charged with the concealment of income between 2010 and 2015.
Ghosn and Kelly have admitted that part of their remuneration was not included in the reports, but argued that it was not necessary to do so because it was a payment for when the company left that were not yet defined. According to local television TV Asahi, investigators reported that Ghosn's home in Tokyo was registered on Friday.