Prosecutors file 2 new charges against ex-Nissan chief Ghosn

French media Ghosn may have avoided tax in France

French media Ghosn may have avoided tax in France

In a court hearing earlier this week, he said he had been unfairly detained on "meritless and unsubstantiated accusations".

According to informed sources, Ghosn denies all the charges.

The twists and turns of the Ghosn case have riveted Japan and the business world and more than 1,000 people queued up from the early hours to get one of only 14 seats in the public gallery on Tuesday.

But his hopes of being granted bail appear dim, with his chief lawyer admitting at a recent news conference that his client could stay in detention for at least another six months until his trial begins, citing the complexity of a case involving documents in both Japanese and English.

A request filed the same day by his lawyers to end his detention was rejected. His lawyers have requested bail. His detention period for the breach of trust allegations would have expired Friday if charges had not been filed.

But afterwards Ghosn's lawyer said it would be "very difficult" to win bail and it could be months before his case is heard.

Ghosn, arrested November 19, was earlier charged with falsifying financial reports in underreporting his income by about 5 billion yen ($44 million) over five years through 2015.

A prosecutor's office spokesperson told AFP that the charges against Ghosn carried a maximum prison sentence of 15 years.

Nissan last weekend put two executives close to Ghosn on leave of absence, suggesting that the internal investigation into the alleged misconduct could be spreading.

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Carole Ghosn, the ousted Nissan chairman's wife, released a statement on Thursday pleading with Japanese authorities for more information about her husband's health.

Prosecutors allege he underreported his income over five years through 2015. "We are fearful and very anxious his recovery will be complicated while he continues to endure such harsh conditions and unfair treatment".

The boards of Nissan and its French 43.4% owner, Renault, met yesterday for an update on the Ghosn investigations.

He is accused of passing off a series of personal investment losses incurred by him in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis to Nissan's books, but according to his lawyers, those actions were approved by the company's management.

The Yomiuri Shimbun said US$100 million was paid to sales agents in five Middle Eastern countries from Ghosn's special "CEO reserve".

He did not respond when asked whether Ghosn, who has been arrested three times, could be served with another arrest warrant. As part of the charge, prosecutors also claim Ghosn then arranged for Nissan to pay an associate who helped him with the red ink.

Ghosn's spectacular downfall following his arrest in November has shaken the global auto industry and strained the alliance he built between Nissan (NSANY), Renault and Mitsubishi Motors (MMTOF).

Visits and questioning of the once high-flying industry titan were postponed after Ghosn developed a fever on Wednesday evening.

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