Tokyo court approves 10-day detention of Ghosn, lawyer appeals

Former Nissan Motor Chairman Carlos Ghosn leaves his lawyer’s office in Tokyo, Japan in this photo taken by Kyodo April 3, 2019. Mandatory credit Kyodo/via REUTERS

TOKYO (Reuters) – A Tokyo court approved on Friday a request by prosecutors to detain Carlos Ghosn for 10 days for further questioning, a move the ousted Nissan boss’ lawyer appealed.

The Tokyo District Court said it had approved the request by prosecutors to detain Ghosn until April 14. The decision was widely expected after prosecutors arrested Ghosn for the fourth time at his Tokyo apartment on Thursday.

The court later confirmed that Ghosn’s defense team had lodged an appeal. His lead lawyer, Junichiro Hironaka, could not immediately be reached for comment. However, Hironaka had earlier told reporters that they had planned to file the appeal.

Prosecutors re-arrested Ghosn on suspicion the former Nissan Motor and Renault SA boss had tried to enrich himself to the tune of $5 million at Nissan’s expense.

In a statement released on Thursday, Ghosn said he was innocent of the “groundless charges and accusations” against him. The once-feted executive, who has said he is the victim of a boardroom coup, also called the latest arrest an attempt to silence him.

The Ghosn scandal has rocked the global auto industry and strained ties between Nissan and its global alliance partner Renault.

It has also shone a harsh light on Japan’s judicial system.

Thursday’s arrest came some 30 days after Ghosn had been released on $9 million bail from a Tokyo detention center. Legal experts have characterized the move as rare for someone already released on bail.

Under Japanese law, prosecutors can seek an extension of another 10 days of detention before they must either bring formal charges against the suspect or let him go.

Additional reporting by Chang-Ran Kim; Writing by David Dolan; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman and Himani Sarkar

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