Carlos Ghosn: Japanese prosecutors file new 'breach of trust' charges

(c) Sky News 2019: <a href="http://news.sky.com/story/carlos-ghosn-japanese-prosecutors-file-new-breach-of-trust-charges-11700658">Carlos Ghosn: Japanese prosecutors file new 'breach of trust' charges </a>
 

New charges have been filed by Japanese prosecutors against the former boss of Renault and Nissan.

The fresh "breach of trust" indictment against Carlos Ghosn comes as prosecutors expand on their allegations of financial misconduct outside Japan.

The new charges accuse him of trying to enrich himself, as Nissan's chairman, to the tune of $5m (£3.8m) at the company's expense.

It is alleged that he siphoned off a portion of the money that was meant for the car manufacturer's overseas sales agent.

Tokyo District Court said his lawyers had requested bail after charges were filed.

Ghosn has been in custody since his arrest earlier in April for a fourth time.

Tokyo deputy chief prosecutor Shin Kukimoto said: "I can only say we are confident that we have gathered enough evidence to win convictions in all four counts of charges."

The 65-year-old has maintained that he is innocent of all charges and that the payments made to Nissan's subsidiaries were legitimate business transactions.

He has also denied the charge that he under-reported his salary, saying they were payments that were never paid.

Nissan says it has filed a criminal complaint against its former chairman and determined that the payments in question "were in fact directed by Ghosn for his personal enrichment and were not necessary from a business standpoint".

The company added: "Such misconduct is completely unacceptable, and Nissan is requesting appropriately strict penalties."

Ghosn, a citizen of France, Brazil and Lebanon, was released on one billion yen (£6.8m) bail in early March under strict conditions.

Prosecutors rearrested him a month later.

Nissan's French partner Renault sent Ghosn to the Japanese car firm 20 years ago to turn it around when it was facing bankruptcy.

Nissan is 43% owned by Renault, which is partly owned by the French government.

In a video statement released this month after his arrest, Ghosn accused some Nissan executives of plotting against him out of fears that Renault would take over the Japanese company.