Japanese court grants ex-Nissan chief Ghosn's request to change residences

Source: Xinhua| 2019-05-09 20:08:29|Editor: xuxin
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TOKYO, May 9 (Xinhua) -- Former Nissan Motor Co. Chairman Carlos Ghosn's request to move residences while released on bail was granted by a Japanese court, sources close to the matter said Thursday.

The Tokyo District Court, investigative sources said, has permitted the ex-auto tycoon to move a house in Tokyo's upscale Minato Ward, marking the first departure from the apartment complex he was required to stay at in Tokyo's Shibuya district.

Prior to the court's decision to allow him to relocate, Ghosn had been required to stay at the apartment complex in Shibuya during both his stints on bail, the first beginning March 5 following his initial arrest in mid-November.

The 65-year-old's release from detention for a second time, on 500 million yen (4.55 million U.S. dollars) bail on April 26, also saw Ghosn restricted to the Shibuya-based apartment.

Under his bail conditions, he was also prohibited from meeting his wife, Carole, without permission from the court, as prosecutors believe she may have tried to contact people involved in the case on Ghosn's behalf to ensure testimonies line up.

The latest charges facing Ghosn are connected to an allegation of aggravated breach of trust, with prosecutors believing that a portion of Nissan funds paid to a distributor in Oman were ostensibly funneled back to Ghosn for personal use.

Such use includes the alleged purchase a 1.6-billion-yen (14.57-million-U.S. dollar) luxury yacht for use by Ghosn's family and others.

The prosecutors believe that in this instance, the misuse of funds cost Nissan around 5 million U.S. dollars in losses.

Ghosn was first arrested on Nov. 19 on charges of under-reporting his remuneration for years in Nissan's securities reports presented to Japanese regulators and is also facing a separate charge of aggravated breach of trust, for allegedly transferring private investment losses to Nissan.

He was previously released on bail after serving 108 days at a detention facility in Tokyo, but was rearrested on April 4.

Ghosn, who holds Brazilian, French and Lebanese citizenship, also had a criminal complained filed against him by Nissan, over the most recent allegation of aggravated breach of trust.

The once-feted kingpin served as Nissan's chief executive officer following the automaker's capital alliance made with Renault and as Nissan president from 2000 and its chief executive officer from 2001 to 2017.

Nissan Motor Co. shareholders have since ousted Ghosn from its board, severing a near two-decade relationship with the auto executive who is widely credited for rescuing Nissan from near-bankruptcy in 1999.

As well as being removed as Nissan chairman after his initial arrest, he was also dismissed as chairman of Mitsubishi Motors Corp. and replaced as chairman of Renault SA after he tendered his resignation while in detention in Tokyo.

Renault SA and Mitsubishi Motors Corp., who comprise the Ghost-created alliance with Nissan, have said that Ghosn will step down as a director in June.

In a video message released by his lawyers after he was rearrested on April 4, Ghosn maintained his innocence and claimed that he had been the victim of a conspiracy at Nissan involving other executives.

Ghosn's case has highlighted Japan's tough judicial system that allows for suspects to be detained for inordinately long periods of time as prosecutors seek to force a confession.

His lawyer Junichiro Hironaka has blasted the system as being akin to "hostage justice."