Ghosn: Former Nissan chief re-arrested on new claims in Japan


Former Nissan chairman Carlos Ghosn leaves his lawyers' offices after he was released earlier in the day from a detention centre after posting bail in Tokyo on March 6, 2019.

Former Nissan chief Carlos Ghosn has been re-arrested in Tokyo while out on bail pending trial over claims of financial misconduct.

Prosecutors had been building a new case against him involving payments to a dealership in Oman, Japanese media said.

In a statement, Mr Ghosn described the arrest as “outrageous and arbitrary”.

The auto boss, who denies any wrongdoing, was recently released on bail after 108 days in custody.

Tokyo prosecutors entered Mr Ghosn’s residence before 6:00 local time (GMT 21:00) on Thursday and took him to their office on suspicion he had misappropriated Nissan funds for personal use, Japanese broadcaster NHK reported.

NHK said it is unusual for someone released on bail in Japan to be re-arrested.

“I am innocent of the groundless charges and accusations against me,” Mr Ghosn said in a statement released by his representatives.

He said the arrest is “part of another attempt by some individuals at Nissan to silence me by misleading the prosecutors”.

The move is the latest twist in a case that has attracted global attention.

Mr Ghosn was the architect of the alliance between Nissan and French carmaker Renault, and brought Mitsubishi on board in 2016.

The 65-year-old was credited with turning around the fortunes of Nissan and Renault over several years.

What charges does he already face?

Mr Ghosn was first arrested in November and faces three charges.

He was first charged with underreporting his pay package for the five years to 2015.

In January, a fresh charge claimed he understated his compensation for another three years and he was also indicted on a new, more serious charge of breach of trust.

Mr Ghosn denies all charges against him. He was released on $9m (£6.8m) bail in March.

The auto boss also said on Wednesday on a newly created Twitter account that he was planning a press conference on 11 April “to tell the truth about what’s happening”.

Pressure from Renault

The latest arrest comes as Renault publicly criticised its former star executive for the first time, accusing him of “questionable and concealed practices”.

Mr Ghosn only resigned from the French carmaker in January, while Nissan and Mitsubishi removed him as chairman shortly after his arrest.

Renault had initially questioned Nissan’s allegations, but carried out its own internal inquiry.

But on Wednesday, it piled pressure on Mr Ghosn when it accused him of “violations of the group’s ethical principles”.

The carmaker said it would stop Mr Ghosn’s pension, thought to be worth €765,000 a year, adding that it reserved the right to bring action against him in the courts.

Renault said it had also “informed the French judicial authorities of potential issues concerning payments made to one of Renault’s distributors in the Middle East”.