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Ghosn indicted on two new charges

Ghosn indicted on two new charges

In the court hearing, Ghosn countered that all of the transactions represented fair compensation for business completed by associates, including $14.7 million paid to Saudi businessman Khaled Al-Juffali.

Ghosn, who denies the allegations, has shown no signs of backing down.

Ghosn, who has been Renault CEO since 2005, has been languishing in a Tokyo detention centre for more than 50 days as he fights multiple allegations of financial misconduct.

Ghosn's aide Greg Kelly, who was arrested at the same time over his alleged role in helping the executive understate his pay, was released on a bail at $635 000 (over R8m) on December 25.

One of his lawyers later conceded that Ghosn could spend a further six months behind bars before his case comes to trial.

A request filed the same day by his lawyers to end his detention was rejected.

His lawyers have applied for bail, but experts say this request is very unlikely to be granted.

Ghosn has strongly denied the allegations against him.

The new charges will likely keep Mr Ghosn in prison until his first trial, according to his lawyers.

However, in one piece of rare positive news for the once-revered tycoon, the Tokyo District Court turned down a prosecutors' bid to prevent family visits, meaning he should be allowed contact with his loved ones.

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Ghosn said he was "wrongly accused and unfairly detained based on meritless and unsubstantiated accusations" during a court proceeding earlier this week, the vehicle executive's first public appearance since his November arrest.

Ghosn's lawyer Otsuru on Tuesday said Nissan had agreed to the arrangement on condition that any losses or gains would be Ghosn's.

The charges add to an earlier charge of under-reporting his income by around half over the five years through March 2015.

As chairman of Nissan, Renault SA and Mitsubishi Motors Corp 7211.T , the globe-trotting Ghosn had access to a string of residences around the world, including additional homes in Beirut and Rio de Janeiro.

Ghosn has been widely credited with saving Nissan from failure in the late 1990s and bringing it together with Renault.

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".

Visits and questioning of the once high-flying industry titan were postponed after Ghosn developed a fever on Wednesday evening.

His wife Carole Ghosn issued a statement overnight out of Paris, expressing concern over his sickness.

"We are fearful and very anxious his recovery will be complicated while he continues to endure such harsh conditions and unfair treatment", she added.

The second charge filed Friday is for aggravated breach of trust, which involves a complex scheme under which Ghosn allegedly tried to transfer losses on foreign exchange contracts to Nissan's books.


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