Nissan's Carlos Ghosn indicted on two new charges

An artists sketch of Carlos Ghosn during his court appearance on Tuesday

An artists sketch of Carlos Ghosn during his court appearance on Tuesday

A doctor is attending to Ghosn who is exhausted from the long detention and interrogations, said his lawyer, Motonari Otsuru.

Prosecutors also filed charges on Friday against Nissan and Ghosn aide Greg Kelly over the additional three years of under-reporting pay.

He was served a third arrest warrant on December 21 for allegedly shifting a currency swap contract with losses worth ¥1.85 billion to Nissan in 2008 and causing damage to the company by having it pay $14.7 million to a Saudi businessman, who guaranteed credit for Ghosn, in the following years.

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.

"In general in such cases in Japan, it is indeed the case that bail is not approved before the first trial does take place", he said, adding that it could be six months before the case comes before a judge.

Earlier this week Ghosn told a Tokyo court he was innocent, in his first public appearance since his arrest, and appealed for his detention to end. His detention period for the breach of trust allegations was due to expire Friday. It also reported, citing unidentified investigation sources, that Ghosn had discussed the possibility of extending a three billion yen (S$37.5 million) loan to a business run by a Saudi acquaintance who later provided collateral for a personal investment.

The French government has stood by Ghosn so far, saying he must benefit from the presumption of innocence. "In all of my efforts on behalf of the company, I have acted honorably, legally and with the knowledge and approval of the appropriate executives inside the company". "We are fearful and very anxious his recovery will be complicated while he continues to endure such harsh conditions and unfair treatment", it said.

While declining to comment on specifics, Deputy Chief Prosecutor Shin Kukimoto told reporters that suspects who get indicted usually will be detained for several months.

Ghosn has been interrogated daily but now will only be questioned with his consent, Kukimoto said.

He had already been charged for under-reporting his income for the five years through 2015.

A prosecutor's office spokeswoman said charges against Ghosn carry a maximum prison sentence of 15 years.

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

The arrest of the 64-year-old has exposed rifts in the alliance he forged and led between Nissan, Mitsubishi Motors and France's Renault.

Nissan said Friday it has filed its own criminal complaint against its former chief "on the basis of Ghosn's misuse of a significant amount of the company's funds". Ghosn remains CEO of Renault.

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