Former Nissan chairman Carlos Ghosn charged with breach of trust in Japan

Former Nissan chairman Carlos Ghosn charged with breach of trust in Japan

Ghosn and Kelly have denied all charges.

At the end of the almost two-hour hearing, his lawyers applied for him to be freed but the court slapped this down, arguing he was a flight risk and could tamper with evidence if released.

Following the latest indictment, Ghosn's defense counsel filed a request to the court to seek his release on bail.

The three parties have been indicted for the same charge covering the years 2010-2015. It also reported, citing unidentified investigation sources, that Ghosn had discussed the possibility of extending a 3 billion yen ($27.81 million) loan to a business run by a Saudi acquaintance who later provided collateral for a personal investment.

The boards of Renault RENA.PA and Japanese partner Nissan 7201.T met on Thursday for an update on ongoing investigations surrounding alleged financial misconduct by alliance boss Carlos Ghosn, both companies said.

A prosecutor's office spokesperson told AFP that the charges against Ghosn carried a maximum prison sentence of 15 years.

Ghosn's legal team fears prosecutors will keep him in jail until a trial begins, which could take six months to a year, they said.

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

"In all of my efforts on behalf of the company, I have acted honourably, legally and with the knowledge and approval of the appropriate executives inside the company".

His detention for suspected breach of trust was set to end later Friday and chances he might be allowed out on bail remained uncertain.

The arrest and detention of Ghosn, once among the most celebrated executives in Japan, has sparked global criticism of Japan's justice system, which effectively allows suspects to be held indefinitely and questioned without a lawyer present. As part of the charge, prosecutors also claim Ghosn then arranged for Nissan to pay an associate who helped him with the red ink.

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. He was transferred to a bigger room with a Western-style bed, according to Ohtsuru.

He has reportedly complained about the rice-based diet at the detention center, with his family saying he has lost up to 20 kilos (44 pounds).

Kelly, in contrast, was released on bail on December 25 and his lawyer said Friday he has since undergone surgery for spinal stenosis at a hospital in Ibaraki Prefecture and moved to a residence approved by the court.

Ghosn declared his love for Nissan at a dramatic court appearance.

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".