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Nissan's Ghosn crisis

Tokyo court decides to extend Ghosn's detention to April 22

Prosecutors' 10-day extension request trimmed to 8; defense team appeals

Former Nissan Motor Chairman Carlos Ghosn leaves his lawyer's office in Tokyo on April 3. (Photo by Kei Higuchi)

TOKYO (Kyodo) -- A Tokyo court on Friday decided to extend the detention of former Nissan Motor Co. Chairman Carlos Ghosn to April 22 after he was rearrested last week over fresh allegations of financial misconduct, but for shorter than requested by prosecutors.

Tokyo prosecutors had requested a 10-day extension beyond the current detention period that was set to end Sunday, but the Tokyo District Court only granted an eight-day extension for Ghosn.

Lawyers for the 65-year-old former Nissan executive, who was once released on bail in March following 108 days in detention, immediately appealed the decision. He has denied any wrongdoing.

Ghosn was served a fourth arrest warrant on April 4 over a new allegation that his misuse of Nissan funds led the automaker to sustain a $5 million loss.

He has already been indicted on charges of violating Japan's financial instruments law by underreporting remuneration to regulators, and aggravated breach of trust in relation to the alleged transfer of private investment losses to Nissan.

The new arrest warrant was served for a different allegation of aggravated breach of trust over a payment made to a distributor in Oman that totaled $15 million between December 2015 and July 2018.

The prosecutors suspect that $5 million of this was transferred to a bank account owned by Good Faith Investments -- a Lebanese investment firm that Ghosn effectively owns -- before part of it was channeled to his wife's company based in the British Virgin Islands, a tax haven.

Some of the money may have been spent to cover the costs of purchasing a luxury yacht worth 1.6 billion yen ($14 million) mainly for use by the family, according to sources familiar with the matter.

Ghosn's nearly two decades of leadership of the Japanese automaker came to a sudden end after his initial arrest in November.

In a video message released by his lawyers following his rearrest, Ghosn said that "conspiracy" by "a few executives" at Nissan lies behind his arrest.

The handling of Ghosn's case has brought Japan's criminal justice system under international scrutiny, with practices such as detaining a suspect for long periods and conducting interrogations without a lawyer present likened by critics to "hostage justice."

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