Ex-Nissan chief rearrested on new charges

Tokyo: Former Nissan chief Carlos Ghosn was rearrested on Thursday while out on bail pending trial on suspicion of misappropriating the company’s money.

His fourth arrest came less than 24 hours after he announced from a newly launched Twitter account that he was “getting ready to tell the truth about what’s happening”, and would hold a news conference in Tokyo on April 11, The Japan Times reported.

Ghosn was arrested again on new suspicion that he may have misappropriated Nissan funds for personal use on several occasions between 2015 and 2018.

“My arrest is outrageous and arbitrary,” the ousted Nissan and Renault chief said in a statement released to media outlets shortly after his rearrest was reported.

“It is part of another attempt by some individuals at Nissan to silence me by misleading the prosecutors… I will not be broken. I am innocent of the groundless charges and accusations against me.”

Ghosn’s lawyers said they would strongly appeal against his fresh arrest while he was out on bail pending trial on separate charges. They added it was almost unheard of to arrest someone after being released on bail.

He was released on bail from the Tokyo Detention House on March 6 after having spent 108 days in confinement as the long detention drew criticism from many legal experts in other countries.

Thursday’s rearrest could reignite international criticism of Japan’s law enforcement system.

Ghosn was first arrested in November for understating his pay. He was re-arrested twice in December 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.

Ghosn denies any wrongdoing.

The latest arrest came after Renault publicly criticized its former star executive for the first time, accusing him of “questionable and concealed practices”, according to the BBC.

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

Nissan is scheduled to hold an extraordinary shareholder meeting on April 8 to oust Ghosn and Greg Kelly, his close associate who was also arrested, from the automaker’s board.