Japan court OKs extending custody of ex-Nissan chair

November 30, 2018 - 4:56 am

TOKYO (AP) — A Japanese court confirmed Friday that it has approved extending the detention of former Nissan chairman Carlos Ghosn for 10 more days.

The Tokyo District Court said it approved prosecutors' request to keep Ghosn until Dec. 10 for further investigation into his financial irregularities.

Ghosn was arrested on Nov. 19 by Tokyo prosecutors on suspicion he falsified financial statement and underreported his renumerations. His first 10 days in custody expires at the end of Friday.

The court said it also approved a 10-day detention extension for another former Nissan executive, Greg Kelly. He was arrested with Ghosn on suspicion he collaborated in the alleged underreporting of his boss' renumerations.

Brazilian-born Ghosn, sent in by alliance partner Renault SA of France, has led a dramatic turnaround at Nissan over the last two decades, rescuing Nissan from near-bankruptcy.

The arrest and detention of such a prominent businessman is shedding light on Japan's pre-indictment detention of suspects, even those suspected of financial crimes, which has long drawn criticism from human rights activists.

Shin Kukimoto, deputy chief prosecutor at the Tokyo District Public Prosecutors' Office, brushed off the criticism. He told reporters Thursday that the investigation of the two suspects is being carried out properly under the Japanese criminal justice system.

At the time of his arrest, Ghosn was heading the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi alliance, which says it sold more than 10.6 million vehicles in nearly 200 countries in 2017.

Ghosn's legal predicament has raised speculation about troubles within the alliance.

On Thursday, Nissan and its alliance members issued a statement reaffirming their partnership.

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