On the day jailed former Nissan Chairman Carlos Ghosn’s was supposed to be released, Japanese prosecutors brought a new charge against him virtually assuring he would remain in custody for the near future.
The authorities added a fourth charge after finding out that payments made to Nissan by a supplier were allegedly redirected to Ghosn for his “personal enrichment.” Ghosn was already released once on $9 million bail last month. Whether or not he will be released on bail again is up in the air.
“Such misconduct is completely unacceptable, and Nissan is requesting appropriately strict penalties,” the automaker said in a statement. Ghosn faces three other charges, including allegedly understating his income and allegedly transferring personal investment losses to Nissan.
He was arrested earlier this month after prosecutors suspected he essentially pocketed $5 million that should have gone to Nissan. Ghosn has maintained his innocence since his first arrest last November, a stance he reiterated in video released earlier this month.
(Former Nissan CEO Ghosn rearrested on new corruption charges. Click Here for the story.)
In the video, his first public statement since his initial arrest in November, Ghosn accused “backstabbing” former colleagues of conspiring to get him fired from his job as Nissan chairman and threatening the Japanese automaker’s future.
“This is not about greed or dictatorship, this is about a plot, this is about a conspiracy, this is about a backstabbing,” Ghosn said. “I am innocent of all the charges that have been brought against me,” he said, without explaining further.
(Click Here to see how “plot and treason” brought Ghosn down, jailed exec says.)
The seven-minute video was edited by his legal team to remove the names of people Ghosn accused of treachery due to legal concerns. Ghosn said fears that he would bring Nissan closer to Renault sowed the seeds of treachery.
Ghosn hired a new defense team in February, which has launched a public battle against the prosecutors, calling the latest arrest “illegal” in court documents, according to Reuters.
(For our coverage of Ghosn’s first court appearance, Click Here.)
The court and prosecutors have been criticized by many observers for the constant extensions, but prosecutors claimed they needed the extra time to conduct their investigation and that were more charges to investigate.