A REQUEST for ex-Nissan chairman Carlos Ghosn to be released on bail was turned down by a court in Japan today, prolonging his detention.
Ghosn was arrested on November 19 and has been charged with falsifying financial reports in under-reporting his income, and with breach of trust in having the Japanese carmaker shoulder investment losses and make payments to a Saudi businessman.
The 64-year-old’s lawyers requested his release last week.
Today’s decision at Tokyo District Court was expected since Motonari Ohtsuru, one of Ghosn’s lawyers, had warned that suspects in Japan are often detained until their trials start. It could be months before Ghosn’s case goes to trial.
Ghosn, who led Nissan for two decades, protested his innocence in court last week – his first public appearance since his arrest. He said the compensation that he allegedly failed to report was neither agreed upon nor paid. Regarding the breach of trust allegation, he said Nissan suffered no losses and the payments were for legitimate services.
Tokyo prosecutors say they have enough evidence for a case, although they won’t disclose any details until the trial.
Yesterday, Ghosn’s wife Carole appealed for his release in a letter to the group Human Rights Watch, saying the detention was ‘cruel and inhumane’.
Japan’s judicial system has often been criticised for long, harsh detentions, severe interrogation tactics and the lack of a presumption that suspects are innocent until proved guilty.