Ex-Nissan chairman Carlos Ghosn indicted, may remain in jail for months

Ghosn suffers high fever, interrogation suspended

Ghosn's detention was further extended after he was served with a third arrest warrant on December 21 for alleged aggravated breach of trust involving the transfer of personal investment losses to Nissan in 2008.

One of his lawyers later conceded that Ghosn could spend a further six months behind bars before his case comes to trial.

On Tuesday, Ghosn, a Brazilian-born Frenchman of Lebanese ancestry, told a Tokyo court he was innocent, in his first public appearance since his November 19 arrest.

In a prepared statement to the court issued by his legal team, Ghosn said: "I am innocent of the accusations made against me".

And with each formal charge, prosecutors can hold Ghosn for two months of pre-trial detention, which is renewable.

During the hearing Tuesday, Ghosn appeared much thinner than before he was arrested.

The arrest and detention of Ghosn, once among the most celebrated executives in Japan, has sparked worldwide criticism of Japan's justice system, which effectively allows suspects to be held indefinitely and questioned without a lawyer present.

Ghosn's lawyers are now able to meet him. He is also suspected of breach of trust, in having Nissan shoulder investment losses in foreign exchange transactions, and making questionable payments to a Saudi businessman.

Ghosn's requests Tuesday to be released before trial were rejected by a judge who declared he was a flight risk. All told, Ghosn said he always acted with integrity and had never been accused of any wrongdoing in his professional career.

The prosecutors, meanwhile, believe Ghosn committed aggravated breach of trust the moment he transferred the contract to Nissan.

While Nissan dismissed Ghosn as Chairman shortly after his arrest, Renault has retained him as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, saying it needs evidence of his wrongdoing.

"The review process has examined the compensation of the current Groupe Renault Executive Committee members for the financial years 2017 and 2018 and has concluded that it is both in compliance with applicable laws and free from any fraud", it said in a statement.

Ghosn has been widely credited with saving Nissan from failure in the late 1990s and bringing it together with Renault.

That lack of transparency and concern that Nissan will use Ghosn's absence to push for more power within the alliance has heightened tensions between the two automakers.

His arrest came after a months-long investigation by Nissan into his conduct, a probe that was largely kept from its French partner.

Renault, which is the biggest shareholder in Nissan, has refrained from removing Ghosn, instead appointing interim replacements.

Ghosn, who has been Renault CEO since 2005, has been languishing in a Tokyo detention centre for more than 50 days as he fights multiple allegations of financial misconduct.

Nissan said earlier that its board had also met Thursday, when directors had received "an updated report" on its own investigations into Ghosn's alleged misconduct.

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