A court in Tokyo has granted bail to former Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn after he spent nearly four months in jail awaiting trial on corruption charges.
After denying Ghosn bail twice before, the Tokyo District Court set his bail at nearly $9 million. Prosecutors are appealing the decision.
Ghosn’s request was granted this time under a new defense team appointed last month. It also comes as his family drummed up international attention regarding what they call his “harsh treatment” in Japanese jail. Lawyers for the family said they will seek help from the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention.
The ex-chairman has been awaiting trial on charges of underreporting his income by about half, and improperly transferring his personal investment losses to Nissan.
The court granted his lawyers’ request for bail on the conditions that Ghosn remain in Japan and be prevented from tampering with evidence.
Ghosn denied the allegations against him in a written statement released Tuesday: “I am innocent and totally committed to vigorously defending myself in a fair trial against these meritless and unsubstantiated accusations.”
The case against Ghosn first began with an internal investigation triggered by a whistleblower within Nissan, the auto manufacturer said in a press release at the time of his November arrest. Nissan also said another member of the board of the directors, Greg Kelly, was heavily involved in the misconduct. He was released on bail in December.
Ghosn once headed the alliance that includes Nissan, Mitsubishi, and France’s Renault.
NPR’s Anthony Kuhn reports, “He claims he was ousted in a coup staged by Nissan executives who opposed closer ties with Renault.”
Ghosn resigned from his role as Chairman and CEO of Renault in January, nearly two months after his arrest.
The former executive was credited with largely reviving Nissan and saving the company from bankruptcy after he took the helm nearly two decades ago.