Prosecutors in Japan have re-arrested Carlos Ghosn, possibly ending any hopes the former Nissan chairman had of an early release from detention over financial misconduct allegations. .
Ghosn, who has been detained for more than a month, was re-arrested on Friday morning on suspicion of aggravated breach of trust and could face another 10 days in detention.
Speculation had been building that he could be released on bail after a court unexpectedly rejected a prosecution request to extend his detention for further questioning.
But in the latest twist to a saga that has gripped Japan, Ghosn was instead re-arrested, this time on suspicion of using Nissan funds to cover losses of 1.85bn yen ($16.6m) he incurred from derivatives trading in 2008.
Prosecutors, whose prolonged detention of Ghosn has attracted international criticism, said: “The accused was responsible for managing Nissan’s overall operations and for dutifully fulfilling his role as chief executive not to cause damage to Nissan and its subsidiaries … but he took action that betrayed his role and caused financial damage to Nissan.”
Ghosn was first arrested on 19 November for allegedly underreporting his pay by about 5bn yen between 2011 and 2015. In addition he and former Nissan executive Greg Kelly, who is also being detained, are alleged to have continued to underreport Ghosn’s income through to March this year, increasing the overall underreported amount by 4bn yen.
Public broadcaster NHK said the 64-year-old had denied the latest allegation. He and Kelly have also denied two other charges of financial misconduct in relation to Ghosn’s salary.
Prosecutors now have 48 hours to question Ghosn over the latest allegation, and can then apply to detain him for 10 days, with the option of requesting a further 10-day extension.
Kelly, who was not re-arrested on Friday, is seeking bail, according to a court statement.