The second bail enables Carlos Ghosn to better prepare for criminal trial expected later this year. He faces a total of four financial misconduct charges and denies all.

In this file photo, former Nissan Motor Chairman Carlos Ghosn sits inside a car as he leaves his lawyer's office after being released on bail from Tokyo Detention House, in Tokyo, Japan, March 6, 2019.
In this file photo, former Nissan Motor Chairman Carlos Ghosn sits inside a car as he leaves his lawyer's office after being released on bail from Tokyo Detention House, in Tokyo, Japan, March 6, 2019. (Issei Kato / Reuters)

Former Nissan Chairman Carlos Ghosn walked out of a Japanese detention center Thursday evening, his head held high, after paying $4.5 million (500 million yen) in bail and winning a court rejection of an appeal from prosecutors. 

Ghosn walked solemnly out of the Tokyo Detention House with one of his lawyers by his side. They got into a dark van without speaking and drove off, watched by dozens of journalists who had been waiting for his release for hours. 

Prosecutors had fought to keep him in custody, contending he could tamper with evidence or influence witnesses . But the Tokyo District Court decided in the evening he should be released. 

In a new twist, the court also decided to restrict Ghosn’s contact with his wife, Carole Ghosn, targeting her as someone related to the latest allegations, according to his legal team. 

In a statement issued shortly after his release, Ghosn said the new bail conditions were “cruel and unnecessary.”

Bail will enable the former titan of the global auto industry to better prepare for his criminal trial expected later this year, when he will fight his latest charge of aggravated breach of trust along with three other accusations of financial misdoing during his time at the helm of Japan's No. 2 automaker.

Ghosn has denied all four charges against him, which include understating his income and temporarily transferring personal financial losses onto Nissan's books.

Allegations of fraud

Ghosn's lawyers filed the bail request on Monday after the former executive was indicted for allegedly enriching himself at a cost of $5 million to Nissan from July 2017 through July 2018.

He was initially released last month, but then re-arrested earlier this month on the new charges, returning to the Tokyo detention centre where he had previously spent 108 days following his first arrest in November.

Ghosn has said he is the victim of a boardroom coup, accusing former Nissan colleagues of "backstabbing", describing them as selfish rivals bent on derailing a closer alliance between the Japanese automaker and Renault, its top shareholder.

When he was last released, the former executive traded in his usual tailored suit and chauffeured sedan for a disguise of workman's uniform, glasses and a mask to slip past reporters before being whisked away in a modest compact van.

Source: Reuters