Business / Corporate

Lawyers request bail for ex-Nissan chief Carlos Ghosn for third time

Kyodo

Lawyers for Nissan Motor Co.’s former Chairman Carlos Ghosn, who has been detained for more than three months on financial misconduct allegations, filed a request for bail for the third time with a Tokyo court on Thursday.

The latest filing with the Tokyo District Court is the first bail request by the ousted car titan’s new legal team, appointed last month, including Junichiro Hironaka, known for winning acquittals in high-profile cases.

His previous defense team, led by Motonari Otsuru, a former head of the special squad of Tokyo prosecutors investigating the financial misconduct allegations, made two requests in January.

Courts in principle grant bail when there is no risk of a suspect fleeing or destroying evidence.

Ghosn, 64, has been charged with understating his remuneration for a number of years in Nissan’s securities reports and transferring derivatives losses from his private asset management company to the automaker. He denies the allegations.

The former executive appeared in court in January seeking an explanation for his continuing detention. It was his first public appearance since his arrest in November. The court said he needed to be detained as he could destroy evidence and flee Japan.

Hironaka, known in judicial circles as the “acquittal guarantor,” has told reporters that he is “confident that (Ghosn) is innocent” on both charges and it is “extremely odd that a matter which should be resolved internally by a company has been brought to prosecutors.”

The arrest of Ghosn on Nov. 19 came as prosecutors and a Nissan executive cooperating with the investigation struck a plea bargain agreement.