Carlos Ghosn appears in court ahead of trial

Time 10:57 am, May 23, 2019

FORMER Nissan chairman Carlos Ghosn appeared at Tokyo District Court today ahead of his trial on accusations of financial misconduct.

The in-camera session was the first in a series of hearings to iron out logistics for his trial, the date for which has not been set.

Ghosn, who led the Japanese car maker for two decades, was arrested last November and charged with under-reporting his income and breach of trust. He was released on bail of one billion yen (circa £6.8m) in March but rearrested on April 4 on fresh accusations.

He was released again April 25 on an additional 500m yen (circa £3.6m) bail.

The Brazilian-born 65-year-old has maintained his innocence, denouncing his arrest as ‘a conspiracy’ by some at Nissan.

The motor giant, which is allied with Renault of France, has seen profits dive amid the fallout from Ghosn’s arrest.

Profit totalled 319.1bn yen (circa £2.3bn) for the fiscal year ended in March, down from 746.9bn yen (circa £5.3bn) the previous fiscal year.

Nissan has promised to strengthen governance, which experts say lagged behind other global and top Japanese companies.

Ghosn has hired a strong legal team, including Takashi Takano and Junichiro Hironaka, who have vowed to clear his name.

His bail conditions forbid him from contacting his wife, which prosecutors say is to prevent evidence tampering. His lawyers have challenged that restriction, though, saying it is a violation of human rights, but the Supreme Court turned down the appeal on Tuesday.

Some legal experts say Ghosn’s trial may not start for months, even possibly until next year.

MORE: Carlos Ghosn charged with breach of trust

MORE: Ghosn claims conspiracy led to his arrest

MORE: Nissan shareholders kick ex-chairman Ghosn off board

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