Ex-Nissan Boss Released on Breathtaking Bail Sum

Lawyer questions grounds for Ghosn arrest
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Mar 5, 2019 12:24 AM CST
Ex-Nissan Chairman Granted Bail After 4 Months
In this May 12, 2016, photo, former Nissan Motor Co. President and CEO Carlos Ghosn speaks during a press conference in Yokohama, near Tokyo.   (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)

The Tokyo District Court approved the release of former Nissan Chairman Carlos Ghosn on 1 billion yen—$8.9 million—bail on Tuesday, ending nearly four months of detention. The acceptance of Ghosn's request for bail, his third, came a day after one of his lawyers said he was confident the auto executive would gain his release from the Tokyo Detention Center. The newly hired attorney, Junichiro Hironaka, is famous for winning acquittals in Japan, a nation where the conviction rate is 99%. Hironaka said Monday that he had offered new ways to monitor Ghosn after his release, such as camera surveillance, the AP reports.

Hironaka also questioned the grounds for Ghosn's arrest, calling the case "very peculiar," and suggesting it could have been dealt with as an internal company matter. The 1 billion yen bail set by the court is relatively high but not the highest ever in Japan. Among the conditions for Ghosn's release were restrictions on where he can live, a ban on foreign travel, and other promises not to tamper with evidence or try to flee, the court said. The former head of the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Motors alliance has been detained since he was arrested on Nov. 19. He says he is innocent of charges of falsifying financial information and of breach of trust. (He says the charges are the result of "plot and treason" by rival execs.)

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