Ghosn's detention extended by 10 days through January 1

Tokyo, JapanUpdated: Dec 23, 2018, 02:09 PM IST

File photo of ex-Nissan chairman Carlos Ghosn. Photograph:(Reuters)

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'Today, a decision was made to detain (Ghosn). The full term of the detention will expire on January 1,' the Tokyo District Court said in a statement to media.

Former Nissan boss Carlos Ghosn will be spending Christmas and the beginning of 2019 behind bars after a Tokyo court on Sunday extended his detention through to January 1.

"Today, a decision was made to detain (Ghosn). The full term of the detention will expire on January 1," the Tokyo District Court said in a statement to media.

The move by the court comes as Tokyo prosecutors continue to grill the automobile tycoon over allegations that he shifted a personal investment loss worth more than $16 million to the Japanese automaker.

The Franco-Brazilian-Lebanese executive earlier had hopes of being freed on bail after the same Tokyo court rejected a bid last week by prosecutors to extend his detention over allegations related to under-reporting his income.

But on Friday, prosecutors slapped Ghosn with a fresh arrest warrant over the investment loss, gaining a 48-hour period to keep him in custody before the latest extension was granted.

The 64-year-old has reportedly denied the allegations, asserting that transactions were carried out legally.

His lengthy detention in Japan, suspects can be "re-arrested" several times over different allegations has sparked criticism, especially from abroad.

His original November 19 arrest for alleged financial misconduct sent shockwaves through the business world.

Since then, the once jet-setting executive has languished in a tiny cell in a detention centre in northern Tokyo, where he has complained about the cold and the rice-based menu.

Ghosn has told embassy visitors he is being well treated and sources at French car giant Renault have described his frame of mind as "combative" as he fights the charges against him.

After his arrest, last month, Nissan and Mitsubishi Motors promptly sacked Ghosn as chairman but Renault kept him on and appointed an interim boss as it waited to assess the legal procedures against him.

Prosecutors formally charged Ghosn on December 10 with financial misconduct for allegedly under-declaring his income by some five billion yen ($44 million) between 2010 and 2015.

At the same time, they re-arrested him on suspicion of also under-reporting his income by a further four billion yen over the past three years. He has not formally been charged over this allegation.

In addition to charges against Ghosn and his right-hand man Greg Kelly, prosecutors had also indicted Nissan itself, as the company submitted the official documents that under-reported the income.

Kelly, who was also arrested last month, could be released as early as next week.