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Ghosn to be released after court rejects prosecutors' appeal; bail conditions revealed

Former Nissan Motor Co. Chairman Carlos Ghosn, who was granted bail, is set to be released possibly Wednesday from the Tokyo Detention House where he had been held for 108 days over financial misconduct allegations.
The Tokyo District Court approved Tuesday his request for bail, the third since his arrest Nov. 19 and first by his revamped defense team, in exchange for conditions such as the 64-year-old staying in Japan and installing a security camera at the entrance of his residence.
The court has rejected the prosecutors' appeal on the decision to grant bail to Ghosn. His release is expected once the bail money is paid.
"I am innocent and totally committed to vigorously defending myself in a fair trial against these meritless and unsubstantiated accusations," Ghosn said in a statement issued through his representative in the United States.
List of court-approved conditions for Ghosn's release on bail
The conditions are based on the accounts given by Ghosn's defense team.
-- Ghosn must live in Japan with a security camera installed at the entrance of where he lives.
-- Ghosn's passport must be controlled by his defense lawyer and overseas trips are prohibited.
-- Access is prohibited to people related to his financial misuse allegations, including senior Nissan officials.
-- Ghosn can attend a Nissan board meeting with court approval.
-- Use of mobile phones is restricted.
-- Ghosn can only use a personal computer at a lawyer's office on weekdays.
The treatment of Ghosn following his arrest has brought Japan's criminal justice system under international scrutiny, with some practices such as detaining suspects for long periods and interrogating them without lawyers present prompting critics to liken such confinement to being held "hostage."
The bail request, made last Thursday, followed two previous attempts in January that were rejected by the court, apparently out of concern Ghosn could destroy evidence or flee Japan.
Ghosn picked a new team of lawyers in mid-February headed by Junichiro Hironaka, known for securing acquittals in high-profile cases in a country in which the conviction rate stood at around 98 percent in 2018.
Ghosn is accused of understating his remuneration by around 9 billion yen in Nissan's securities reports over the eight years through last March.
He has also been charged with aggravated breach of trust for having transferred 1.85 billion yen in personal losses from derivatives contracts to Nissan in 2008, and having the automaker pay $14.7 million to Khaled al-Juffali, a Saudi businessman who extended credit to him.
The prosecutors are continuing their probe into other overseas transactions involving Ghosn that Nissan officials claim to be opaque, investigative sources said earlier.
Ghosn, credited with saving Nissan from the brink of bankruptcy in the late 1990s and building a partnership with Renault SA, was dismissed as the Japanese automaker's chairman shortly after his arrest.
Nissan said its own internal investigation, triggered by a whistle-blower's reports, had also uncovered the use of company assets and funds by Ghosn for personal purposes.
Renault, where Ghosn served as chairman and CEO, has also replaced him with a new leadership, while Mitsubishi Motors Corp., the third partner in the Japanese-French alliance, has ousted Ghosn as its chairman.
Nissan is set to hold an extraordinary shareholders' meeting on April 8 to remove Ghosn completely from the board and welcome Renault Chairman Jean-Dominique Senard, who assumed the post in January, as a new member.


© KYODO
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