Japanese prosecutors indicted the former Nissan chairman on two new charges on Friday. They allege that he misused his position for personal gain by transferring personal investment losses to the Japanese carmaker, and understated his income between 2015 and 2018.
The auto executive’s Japanese lawyers applied for bail soon after the new indictment on Friday. If the bail application is rejected, Ghosn will spend at least another two months in jail, a detention period that can then be extended by the court for a month at a time. His lawyers can appeal in a higher court.
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.
A judge in the Tokyo District Court said during the hearing that keeping Ghosn in jail during the investigation was justified because he posed a flight risk and could conceal evidence. Ghosn’s lawyers dispute those claims.
He faces a combined maximum sentence of 15 years in prison if found guilty of the charges.
Nissan and Greg Kelly, a former director at the firm who was arrested along with Ghosn but has since been released on bail, were also indicted Friday on fresh allegations of financial misconduct.
‘Fearful and very worried’
“I am pleading with the Japanese authorities to provide us with any information at all about my husband’s health,” Carole Ghosn said. “We are fearful and very worried his recovery will be complicated while he continues to endure such harsh conditions and unfair treatment.”
Japanese prosecutors on Thursday temporarily suspended their interrogations of Ghosn, who began feeling ill on Wednesday night, according to the office of his lawyer Motonari Otsuru. His temperature had returned to normal by Friday, Otsuru’s office said.
Visits from lawyers, family and friends are strictly controlled by prosecutors in Japan, making it difficult for suspects to establish a defense or give their side of the story to the media.
Since his arrest, Ghosn has been removed as chairman by Nissan and Mitsubishi. Renault and the French government have stood by him, presuming him innocent until proven otherwise.
Renault said in a statement Thursday that an internal investigation found all payments to its board members in 2017 and 2018 were in compliance with the law and “free from any fraud.” The company is still investigating payments to the board — of which Ghosn is a member — made in previous years.