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Former Nissan Chairman Ghosn indicted on new charge of misusing funds
Last Updated: 2019-04-22 18:09 | Xinhua
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Former Nissan Motor Co. Chairman Carlos Ghosn was indicted on Monday by Tokyo prosecutors on a fresh charge of misusing Nissan funds to pay a dealer in Oman.

The latest indictment follows his arrest for the fourth time on April 4 over an allegation of breach of trust with prosecutors suggesting that a portion of the payment made to the Oman distributor was funneled back to Ghosn for personal use.

The prosecutors believe that the misuse of funds cost Nissan around 5 million U.S. dollars in losses.

Ghosn's lawyers have slammed how the prosecutors have handled the case, including their client's previous 108 days spent in detention before being released on bail, as Monday was supposed to mark the final day of his most recent detention.

They said they will again seek bail for Ghosn who has staunchly maintained his innocence throughout.

The latest arrest warrant served to Ghosn, sources close to the matter said, alleged that the distributor in Oman received from Nissan 15 million U.S. dollars between December 2015 and July 2018 and transferred 5 million U.S. dollars of this to the savings account of a Lebanese firm believed to be owned by Ghosn.

It has been alleged, the sources said, that a portion of the funds, thereafter, were funneled to a company owned by his wife, with part of the money possibly being used to purchase a luxury yacht worth 1.6 billion yen (14.29 million U.S. dollars) for his family.

In a video message released by his lawyers after he was last arrested, Ghosn maintained his innocence and claimed that he had been the victim of a conspiracy at Nissan involving other executives.

Ghosn served as the automaker's chief executive officer following Nissan's capital alliance made with Renault and as Nissan president from 2000 and its chief executive officer from 2001 to 2017.

Nissan Motor Co. shareholders removed Ghosn from its board recently, severing a near two-decade relationship with the once-feted auto executive who is widely credit for rescuing Nissan from near-bankruptcy in 1999.

As well as being ousted as Nissan chairman after his initial arrest, he was also dismissed as chairman of Mitsubishi Motors Corp. and replaced as chairman of Renault SA after he tendered his resignation while in detention in Tokyo.

Renault SA and Mitsubishi Motors Corp., who comprise the Ghosn-created alliance with Nissan, have said that Ghosn will step down as a director in June.

Ghosn's lead lawyer Junichiro Hironaka has criticized Japan's judicial system, which allows for the lengthy detention of suspects as prosecutors seek confessions, as being akin to "hostage justice."

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