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Source says prosecutors will indict Carlos Ghosn again on Friday, as current detention period ends

Reuters, Kyodo

Prosecutors plan to indict former Nissan Motor Co. Chairman Carlos Ghosn on two more charges of financial misconduct on Friday, a person with knowledge of the issue said, bringing the total number of charges against him to three.

Interrogation of Ghosn has been suspended, one of his lawyers had said earlier on Thursday, because the former Nissan chief had been experiencing a high fever since Wednesday evening and was prescribed rest by a doctor.

Ghosn, who has been detained since his initial arrest on Nov. 19 and whose current detention period is set to end Friday, is now expected to be formally charged on the day with aggravated breach of trust for temporarily transferring personal investment losses to Nissan in 2008, as well as for understating his compensation for three years through 2018. The charges, which have been widely expected, add to an earlier charge of under-reporting his income by around half through 2015.

At a court appearance earlier this week, Ghosn said all accusations against him were “meritless” and “unsubstantiated.”

Nissan also faces an indictment over the latest compensation reporting issue, said the source, who spoke on condition of anonymity due to the sensitivity of the issue.

The Nikkei daily earlier reported that prosecutors planned to charge Ghosn for aggravated breach of trust on Friday. It also reported, citing unidentified investigation sources, that Ghosn had discussed the possibility of extending a ¥3 billion ($27.81 million) loan to a business run by a Saudi acquaintance who later provided collateral for a personal investment.

When contacted by Reuters, both the Tokyo Prosecutor’s Office and Nissan declined to comment.

Earlier this week the Tokyo District Court rejected an appeal by his lawyers to end his detention.

It is uncommon for defendants in Japan who deny charges to be granted bail ahead of trial — a tendency which has drawn widespread criticism, including from Ghosn’s defense team.

A member of Ghosn’s legal team said Thursday that they would apply for bail for Ghosn after his current detention period ends Friday, but that his release would come on Tuesday at the earliest should the court accept the application.

Speaking with reporters Tuesday, Motonari Otsuru, who leads Ghosn’s Japan-based legal team, said he expected prosecutors to take at least six months to prepare for trial.