NISSAN executive Greg Kelly was released from detention in Japan yesterday after being granted bail over the alleged under-reporting of his boss Carlos Ghosn’s pay.
The late-night release of Kelly, who is American, followed the Tokyo District Court’s approval earlier in the day of a bail request filed last week by his Japanese lawyer.
Kelly was freed on bail of 70 million yen (circa £500,000), ending his detention after more than a month.
Television footage captured the bespectacled Kelly slowly walking out of the detention centre and getting into a black car.
The vehicle drove past reporters waiting outside the gate as cameras flashed.
Kelly was expected to go straight to a hospital for treatment of a chronic neck problem, according to local media. He had been scheduled to undergo surgery in Nashville earlier this month, according to media reports.
He and Ghosn were detained in Tokyo immediately after their arrest on November 19.
They are charged with under-reporting Ghosn’s pay by about five billion yen (circa £35m) from 2011 to 2015.
Kelly’s Japanese lawyer sought bail after the court dismissed prosecutors’ request for more detention for the two to investigate their second allegation of under-reporting Ghosn’s pay of four billion yen (circa £28m).
Charges for an under-reporting allegation in more recent years are pending, and no trial date has been set.
Ghosn will be detained until January 1 or longer since he also faces breach-of-trust allegations.
Kelly will now have to follow rules set by the court, including those regarding his residence and travel, prosecutors have said.
The arrests of Ghosn, who is a car industry icon, and his right-hand man have triggered international attention and raised concerns about the Japanese practice of extended detentions.
Nissan has removed Kelly as representative director and Ghosn as chairman, but they are still company board members.
The board of Renault SA, the French ally of Nissan, has retained Ghosn while naming an interim chairman. Mitsubishi, which is also part of an alliance with the two, took a measure similar to Nissan.
Kelly, 62, joined Nissan North American in 1988 and worked in legal counsel and human resources at the company, and has been a member of the automaker’s board since 2012.
His American lawyer, Aubrey Harwell, has said he is innocent and that he only acted according to the law and company policy.
Ghosn has also denied the allegations and told lawyers that he is determined to prove his innocence in court, according to Japanese media reports.
Ghosn’s downfall is seen by some as a manoeuvre by others at Nissan to gain power in the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance.