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Ex-Nissan chair Ghosn indicted for alleged breach of trust

13 January 2019

Carlos Ghosn's chances of getting out of jail anytime soon took a serious blow on Friday after he was indicted for a second time by Japanese prosecutors building their case against the fallen vehicle executive, who was detained nearly two months ago.

Carlos Ghosn was hit with a third set of charges on Friday.

The disgraced automotive titan is also suspected of sending Nissan funds to acquaintances in Lebanon and Oman.

Reuters had reported earlier on Friday that the Japanese automaker was looking into decisions made in the United States by Munoz who led Nissan's North American operations from 2016 to 2018.

Tokyo prosecutors have indicted former Nissan chairman Carlos Ghosn on two new charges of financial misconduct his lawyer said.

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.

At his dramatic court appearance on Tuesday, Ghosn appeared to have lost a lot of weight in detention but otherwise seemed in good health.

According to the indictments and other sources, Ghosn transferred financial derivatives contracts with appraisal losses worth some ¥1.85 billion to Nissan from an asset management company for him in October 2008. The auto executive has not been allowed to speak with family members in the time since his arrest on November 19, she said in a statement.

Lawyers for the former jet-setting executive immediately said they would file a bail application, but have acknowledged that he will probably be detained until a trial.

Ghosn, arrested November 19, was earlier charged with falsifying financial reports in underreporting his income by about 5 billion yen ($44 million) over five years through 2015.

Kelly and Nissan were not charged with breach of trust.

While he has said that he has been "unfairly detained", the Tokyo District Court earlier this week rejected an appeal by his lawyers to end his detention.

Even if bail were granted, Ghosn would not likely be released until Tuesday given that Monday is public holiday in Japan.

The review was initiated after Ghosn was arrested.

He faces a combined maximum sentence of 15 years in prison if found guilty of the charges.

The prosecutors also indicted former Nissan Representative Director Greg Kelly and Nissan itself for the alleged misstatement of Ghosn's remuneration.

At their own informal meeting, Renault directors were updated on the company's compliance investigation, which is verifying payments to top executives.

Nissan says an internal investigation began in mid-2018 after whistleblowers came forward.

In a LinkedIn post 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".

Ex-Nissan chair Ghosn indicted for alleged breach of trust