Carlos Ghosn: Former Nissan boss granted bail at 1 billion yen

Japan court grants bail to former Nissan boss Carlos Ghosn after three months in jail

A small van believed to be carrying Carlos Ghosn is making its way through the streets of Tokyo following the Nissan Motor chairman's release on bail.

Flanked by police officers and wearing construction worker reflectors, a light blue baseball cap, a face mask and eyeglasses, Ghosn climbed into a silver Suzuki van and left the detention center where he'd been locked up since his November 19 arrest.

Dressed like a Japanese road worker, Ghosn suggested he had been through a "terrible ordeal" but the story isn't over for the former motoring titan as he moves to a court approved home in Tokyo.

"I am boundlessly grateful to my family and friends for backing me through this awful ordeal", he added in the statement released by his lawyers in Paris.

The Japanese auto giant fired Ghosn as chairman, but he remains on the Nissan board until a decision is made at a shareholders' meeting.

In the first category, prosecutors say Ghosn failed to include more than $80 million in compensation he was due after retirement in Nissan financial statements for eight fiscal years ending March 2018.

Prosecutors contend that suspects may tamper with evidence and shouldn't be released.

Jean-Yves Le Borgne said in an interview on Wednesday that Ghosn, the former head of the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Motors alliance, fell into "a kind of trap".

He has also been charged with aggravated breach of trust for having transferred 1.85 billion yen in personal losses from derivatives contracts to Nissan in 2008, and having the automaker pay $14.7 million to Khaled al-Juffali, a Saudi businessman who extended credit to him.

The acceptance of Ghosn's request for bail, his third, came Tuesday, a day after one of his lawyers, Junichiro Hironaka, said he was confident the auto executive would gain his release.

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Other provisos of his bail have not been made clear, but, according to sources close to the matter, they are based around making sure Ghosn can not tamper with evidence or contact Nissan executives or others involved in the case.

Ghosn's prolonged stay behind bars had shone the spotlight on Japan's controversial justice system and prompted criticism internationally and from rights groups.

Investigators from the Tokyo District Public Prosecutors Office arrest Ghosn after his private jet touches down at Haneda Airport.

The release will allow Ghosn - the architect of Nissan's automaking partnership with Renault and Mitsubishi - to meet his new legal team more frequently and build a defence ahead of trial, which could be several months away.

"Beyond being sorry I feel great disappointment, frustration, despair, indignation and resentment", Saikawa said, apologizing profusely for the situation, which has raised serious questions about overall corporate governance at Nissan and drawn promises for improvements.

Ghosn was removed as chairman of Nissan and Mitsubishi following his arrest past year, and resigned from Renault in January.

Hironaka referred to his client's long detention as an example of Japan's system of "hostage justice", and accused prosecutors of "lacking in balance" by bringing charges against Ghosn while declining to bring charges against Toshiba executives after a larger accounting scandal in 2015.

Ghosn asked, speaking to AFP and the Les Echos daily in January from his detention centre. Hironaka has said he is in good spirits.

However, he said prosecutors had begun handing over some of their evidence prior to a potential trial.

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