Carlos Ghosn has said he will 'not be broken'
Paris (AFP) - After a Tokyo court extended Friday Carlos Ghosn’s detention until April 22, here are key developments since the former Nissan and Renault boss was arrested in Japan five months ago for alleged financial misconduct, with four formal charges since filed against him:
- Plane stormed -
A team of prosecutors charges onto Ghosn’s private jet after it touches down at Tokyo’s Haneda Airport on November 19. They arrest the Brazil-born Frenchman and his right-hand man Greg Kelly, accused of under-reporting Ghosn’s salary.
Hours later, Nissan CEO Hiroto Saikawa tells reporters: “Too much authority was given to one person in terms of governance,” referring to “a dark side of the Ghosn era”.
Ghosn and Kelly both deny wrongdoing. Their detention for investigation is later extended twice to December 10.
- Fired -
French car giant Renault announces on November 20 that Ghosn is “temporarily incapacitated” and chief operating officer Thierry Bollore will take over his role.
Nissan’s board votes unanimously on November 22 to “discharge” Ghosn as chairman. Four days later, he is also fired as boss of Mitsubishi Motors.
Ghosn oversaw the alliance of the three groups that makes up the world’s top-selling auto company.
- Charged and new allegations -
On December 10, prosecutors formally charge Ghosn and Kelly with under-reporting the auto titan’s salary between 2010 and 2015. They immediately rearrest the pair on allegations of further under-reporting in the past three years.
On December 21, prosecutors arrest Ghosn again over fresh allegations that he transferred losses from personal financial investments to Nissan. His detention is subsequently prolonged twice until January 11.
Kelly wins bail on December 25 on the condition that he stays in Japan.
- First court appearance -
In his first public appearance since his arrest, Ghosn attends a court hearing on January 8 in handcuffs. “I have been wrongly accused and unfairly detained based on meritless and unsubstantiated accusations,” he says.
The judge says his detention is justified because he poses a flight risk and could tamper with evidence.
On January 11, prosecutors file two new formal charges of financial misconduct against Ghosn. On January 15, the court denies his bail request.
- Personal appeal -
On January 21, Ghosn issues a personal appeal for bail, vowing he would not seek to leave Japan before a trial and offering to wear an electronic tagging bracelet. His request is rejected.
On January 31, Ghosn tells AFP from his prison cell that his detention would “not be normal in any other democracy”. He shakes up his legal team on February 13.
- Bail approved -
On March 5, the court approves Ghosn’s third request for bail which is set at one billion yen ($9 million, eight million euros).
Ghosn says in a statement he will “strongly” defend himself against “unfounded” charges.
On March 6 he walks out of his detention centre wearing a medical face mask and a workman’s outfit, with the world’s media in attendance.
- Rearrest -
He is arrested in a dawn raid of his Tokyo apartment on April 4, with investigators now probing suspect payments to a Nissan distributor in Oman.
Ghosn slams the fresh arrest as “outrageous” and says, “I will not be broken.” His lawyer Junichiro Hironaka says it “should not be tolerated in a civilised nation”.
The court grants prosecutors a further 10 days to question Ghosn, setting his detention until at least April 14.
- ‘Backstabbing’ -
On April 9, Ghosn’s representatives release a video recorded shortly before his rearrest in which he accuses “backstabbing” Nissan executives of a “conspiracy” leading to his arrest.
He repeats that he is “innocent of all the charges”.
On April 12, a court rules that Ghosn will remain in detention until April 22 for further questioning.
At the end of his detention period, authorities hit him with a further charge of aggravated breach of trust, alleging he siphoned off money for personal ends from cash transferred from Nissan to a dealership in Oman.
- Bail II -
On April 25, the court grants a second bail to Ghosn of $4.5 million, also banning him from leaving Japan and imposing other conditions aimed at preventing him from evidence tampering or contacting people involved in the case.