The Tokyo District Court has approved bail for indicted former Renault-Nissan Chairman Carlos Ghosn, who has been held in detention since his Nov. 19 arrest in Japan.

The decision came Tuesday in Japan, following the third attempt to win release of the 64-year-old Ghosn after 107 days in detention. The court set bail at 1 billion yen ($8.9 million) and attached strict conditions, including limited Internet access and ubiquitous video surveillance.

The Tokyo District Prosecutor’s Office, as expected, appealed the decision within hours. But the appeals court announced shortly after 11 p.m. local time that it had rejected the appeal.

In a statement emailed on Tuesday, Ghosn said: “I am extremely grateful for my family and friends who have stood by me throughout this terrible ordeal. I am also grateful to the NGOs and human rights activists in Japan and around the world who fight for the cause of presumption of innocence and a fair trial. I am innocent and totally committed to vigorously defending myself in a fair trial against these meritless and unsubstantiated accusations.”

In a last-ditch effort to keep Ghosn incarcerated ahead of his trial, prosecutors may still try to arrest him on a new charge. But Ghosn’s lawyer aims to go ahead with paying bail as soon as Wednesday, noting that Ghosn was unable to transfer the funds during business hours Tuesday.

To get his bail application approved, Ghosn agreed to stay in Japan, have cameras set up in his house and not contact people outside. His lawyer, Junichiro Hironaka, told the Nikkei newspaper that Ghosn would have to stay at the lawyer’s office during the day and have access to only an old-style mobile phone that can make and receive calls, not surf the web or send email.

“Ghosn looked unhappy about the bail conditions,” Hironaka said, noting that the former high-flying auto executive, if freed, would be able to use computers only at his office.

He will, however, be allowed to attend board meetings at Nissan, Mitsubishi and Renault, if he obtains permission from the court, Hironaka said, the Nikkei reported. Ghosn remains a director at the companies, although Nissan will ask shareholders to remove him.
Ghosn switched lawyers late last month after his first legal team failed in two attempts to win bail. The court had earlier refused bail, citing concerns about flight and evidence tampering.
(Auto News)

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