Ex-Nissan chairman Ghosn indicted by prosecutors on fresh charge

Ghosn suffers high fever, interrogation suspended

Tokyo prosecutors on Friday charged former Nissan Motor Co.

Ghosn, who remains in detention, is likely to be formally charged with aggravated breach of trust for temporarily transferring personal investment losses to Nissan in 2008, and for understating his compensation for three more years through 2018, a person with knowledge of the matter said earlier.

Renault has stuck by Ghosn since his arrest but faces pressure to find a successor as his jail time drags on and questions mount about executive payment schemes used by the carmaker and related companies.

Ghosn denies any wrongdoing and argued Tuesday in a dramatic first court appearance that he had been "wrongly accused and unfairly detained".

Ghosn has already been indicted once, over allegations he under-reported his salary over five fiscal years to the tune of ¥5 billion (US$46 million) in official documents to shareholders. The massive losses were generated from a contract over derivative transactions that his asset management company had concluded with a bank.

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Mr Ghosn, the architect of the Renault-Nissan alliance, is accused of moving personal investment losses worth 1.85bn yen (£13.4m; $17m) racked up on foreign exchange dealings to Nissan.

His legal team said they would file a bail application to free Ghosn, but they acknowledged that he is unlikely to be released, as it is uncommon for defendants in Japan who deny their charges to be granted bail ahead of trial, which in Ghosn's case will be in about six months.

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.

But even Ghosn's lead lawyer Motonari Otsuru had earlier said it would be "very difficult" to secure bail.

The boards of Nissan and its French 43.4% owner, Renault, met yesterday for an update on the Ghosn investigations.

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Ghosn, who appeared much thinner than before his arrest, came down with a fever the day after his court appearance, but has since recovered, Ohtsuru, the lawyer, said.

Kelly, a Ghosn ally, was hospitalized for treatment of a pre-existing neck problem after his release and has since been discharged, said his lawyer Yoichi Kitamura.

Kelly and Nissan were not charged with breach of trust. "Nissan does not in any way tolerate such misconduct and calls for strict penalties", it said.

In a LinkedIn post https://bit.ly/2RsrNwQ on Friday, Munoz said, "I am proud to have played a role in achieving 74 percent growth in North America, gaining market dominance in Mexico, getting China market share on the growth path, and helping the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance become the highest volume group in the world".

"As I have repeatedly and recently made clear to the company, I look forward to continuing to assist Nissan in its investigations".

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