Carlos Ghosn’s latest bail application was rejected by a Japanese court, extending his detention and helping prosecutors build their case against the fallen car titan who has already been in jail for almost two months.
The decision was announced Tuesday by the Tokyo District Court. Ghosn’s lawyers had submitted a bail application last week after the executive was indicted for a second count of financial misconduct accusations. The court did not give a reason for denying bail. At a hearing last week, when his lawyers asked for reasons for his continued detention, the court cited concerns that Ghosn would try to flee or tamper with evidence.
Lawyers for Ghosn have appealed the decision and could receive a response within the next day.
The rejection is a win for the prosecutors who want to keep questioning Ghosn as they continue to build their case ahead of an eventual trial. The ousted Nissan chairman has been indicted for understating his income by tens of millions of dollars and for “breach of trust” by acts including passing on trading losses to the automaker.
The arrest of the high-flying executive on Nov. 19 at Tokyo’s Haneda airport has rocked the world’s biggest auto alliance, raising questions over whether the two-decade partnership between Nissan and French partner Renault will survive his downfall. While Nissan dismissed Ghosn as chairman shortly after his arrest, Renault has retained him as chairman and CEO, saying it needs evidence of his wrong-doing.
Renault, which is the biggest shareholder in Nissan, has instead appointed interim replacements. Renault’s most powerful shareholder, the French state, says Ghosn is presumed innocent until proven guilty and has demanded Nissan share the evidence it has collated against him.
Nissan CEO Hiroto Saikawa said Renault should reach the same conclusion as the Japanese automaker and oust Ghosn if and when it gains access to all the relevant information, according to an interview with French daily Les Echos published Monday.
The French government says it will support Renault's decision to keep Ghosn at its helm unless it becomes clear he will be "chronically incapacitated" by the Japanese investigation, officials said on Monday.
Tuesday is likely to see "important developments" in relation to that question, one French official said.