FILE PHOTO: Carlos Ghosn, Chairman and CEO of the Renault-Nissan Alliance, reacts during a news conference in Paris, France, September 15, 2017. REUTERS/Philippe Wojazer/File Photo
Fallen car star Carlos Ghosn will stay behind bars in Japan. Reuters

Ghosn's bail bid rejected despite ankle tag offer



Carlos Ghosn’s bail application was rejected again, even after the one-time car titan offered to wear an electronic tracker and be monitored by guards to end his custody that has now lasted more than two months.

The latest rejection by a Tokyo court is a win for the prosecutors, who can now keep Mr Ghosn detained as they continue to build their case ahead of an eventual trial that could be as long as six months away. The former Nissan Motor chairman had also offered to surrender his passports - he holds French, Lebanese and Brazilian citizenship - and give shares as collateral.

He has been in custody since November 19, accused of financial crimes that could put him behind bars for decades. The fallen car star has been indicted for understating his income at Nissan by tens of millions of dollars and transferring personal trading losses to the car maker. Nissan also claims that Mr Ghosn misused company funds, including for homes from Brazil to Lebanon, and hired his sister on an advisory contract. Mr Ghosn has denied wrongdoing.

His downfall, as sudden as it was unexpected, has roiled the two-decade alliance between Nissan and France's Renault, which he dominated as chairman of both companies and of the entity that governs their partnership, according to Bloomberg. France's Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire and Nissan chief executive Hiroto Saikawa were both quick to downplay a report in the Nikkei newspaper over the weekend that the French side was planning to put the two car makers under one holding structure.

In a statement released on Monday, Mr Ghosn repeated his intent to clear his name in court, Reuters reported.

"I will attend my trial not only because I am legally obligated to do so, but because I am eager to finally have the opportunity to defend myself," he said.

"I am not guilty of the charges against me and I look forward to defending my reputation in the courtroom."

Since Mr Ghosn’s initial arrest, prosecutors have repeatedly extended his detention and re-arrested him over new allegations, while defence lawyers’ several bail applications have been refused. Mr Ghosn’s lawyers, represented by Motonari Otsuru, made a fresh application for bail on January 18.

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Read more:

Ousted Ghosn offers to wear ankle tag for bail

Nissan CEO not aware of French proposal for integration with Renault

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Mr Ghosn’s previous requests for release envisioned him heading to France before returning to Japan for trial. In his latest bid, he pledged to stay in Japan and gave a Tokyo apartment rented by his family as his address, whereas in his previous applications he had given a Paris address and a residence at the French embassy in Tokyo. He also offered to refrain from contact with anyone who could be a witness against him.

Japan’s legal system has faced criticism for a lack of clarity and communication on how prosecutors are handling the case, with Mr Ghosn held in detention without charge for longer than would be permitted in the UK for a suspected terrorist. While the Tokyo court didn’t give a reason for Tuesday’s bail rejection, a judge at a January 8 hearing said Mr Ghosn’s continued detention was because he presented a flight risk and posed the danger of witness and evidence tampering.

“The reason for the bail dismissal should be clarified,” said Nobuo Gohara, a lawyer and former prosecutor in Japan who isn’t connected to the case. Mr Gohara said he had expected the latest bail request to be successful because the terms Mr Ghosn offered would have made it practically impossible for him to destroy evidence.

Even a highly-restricted release would have allowed Mr Ghosn to more easily prepare for trial. As is customary in Japan, while in custody he’s been extensively interrogated without his lawyers present, and has no access to documents that could help him construct a defence. He has also been barred from seeing or communicating with his family.

While Nissan fired Mr Ghosn almost immediately, he still retains his posts at Renault and at the alliance - although probably not for much longer. Michelin chief executive Jean-Dominique Senard is expected to join Renault’s leadership, sources have told Bloomberg.

Renault's executive board may meet on Wednesday and name Mr Senard non-executive chairman and head of the alliance, and at the same time appoint Thierry Bollore as Renault's CEO, Le Figaro reported on Sunday. Mr Bollore is currently acting as CEO on an interim basis. A Renault spokesman declined to comment.

Tensions are simmering on both sides of the alliance because of its lopsided structure. While Nissan has outgrown Renault in sales and profits, the Japanese company has far less influence. It owns 15 per cent of Renault, which in turn has 43 per cent of Nissan. France is Renault’s most powerful shareholder, with a 15 per cent stake, extra voting rights and two seats on the board. Mitsubishi Motors was added to the alliance in 2016.

A delegation including Martin Vial, a Renault director designated by the French state, visited Japanese officials including Mr Saikawa in Tokyo last week. According to sources, the discussions focused on possible ways and ideas to cement the Renault-Nissan alliance, with the creation of a single holding company for both car makers being one of the options.

The sources emphasised that no proposal was made at the meeting and it’s too early to discuss concrete plans.

Mr Ghosn had been pushing for a closer integration before his arrest, including a possible merger, but Nissan has baulked.

What is the definition of an SME?

SMEs in the UAE are defined by the number of employees, annual turnover and sector. For example, a “small company” in the services industry has six to 50 employees with a turnover of more than Dh2 million up to Dh20m, while in the manufacturing industry the requirements are 10 to 100 employees with a turnover of more than Dh3m up to Dh50m, according to Dubai SME, an agency of the Department of Economic Development.

A “medium-sized company” can either have staff of 51 to 200 employees or 101 to 250 employees, and a turnover less than or equal to Dh200m or Dh250m, again depending on whether the business is in the trading, manufacturing or services sectors. 

MATCH INFO

Southampton 0
Manchester City 1
(Sterling 16')

Man of the match: Kevin de Bruyne (Manchester City)

Omar Yabroudi's factfile

Born: October 20, 1989, Sharjah

Education: Bachelor of Science and Football, Liverpool John Moores University

2010: Accrington Stanley FC, internship

2010-2012: Crystal Palace, performance analyst with U-18 academy

2012-2015: Barnet FC, first-team performance analyst/head of recruitment

2015-2017: Nottingham Forest, head of recruitment

2018-present: Crystal Palace, player recruitment manager

 

 

 

 

COMPANY PROFILE

Name: Yango Deli Tech
Based: UAE
Launch year: 2022
Sector: Retail SaaS
Funding: Self funded

Try out the test yourself

Q1 Suppose you had $100 in a savings account and the interest rate was 2 per cent per year. After five years, how much do you think you would have in the account if you left the money to grow?
a) More than $102
b) Exactly $102
c) Less than $102
d) Do not know
e) Refuse to answer

Q2 Imagine that the interest rate on your savings account was 1 per cent per year and inflation was 2 per cent per year. After one year, how much would you be able to buy with the money in this account?
a) More than today
b) Exactly the same as today
c) Less than today
d) Do not know
e) Refuse to answer

Q4 Do you think that the following statement is true or false? “Buying a single company stock usually provides a safer return than a stock mutual fund.”
a) True
b) False
d) Do not know
e) Refuse to answer

The “Big Three” financial literacy questions were created by Professors Annamaria Lusardi of the George Washington School of Business and Olivia Mitchell, of the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. 

Answers: Q1 More than $102 (compound interest). Q2 Less than today (inflation). Q3 False (diversification).

UAE currency: the story behind the money in your pockets
Day 3, Abu Dhabi Test: At a glance

Moment of the day Just three balls remained in an exhausting day for Sri Lanka’s bowlers when they were afforded some belated cheer. Nuwan Pradeep, unrewarded in 15 overs to that point, let slip a seemingly innocuous delivery down the legside. Babar Azam feathered it behind, and Niroshan Dickwella dived to make a fine catch.

Stat of the day - 2.56 Shan Masood and Sami Aslam are the 16th opening partnership Pakistan have had in Tests in the past five years. That turnover at the top of the order – a new pair every 2.56 Test matches on average – is by far the fastest rate among the leading Test sides. Masood and Aslam put on 114 in their first alliance in Abu Dhabi.

The verdict Even by the normal standards of Test cricket in the UAE, this has been slow going. Pakistan’s run-rate of 2.38 per over is the lowest they have managed in a Test match in this country. With just 14 wickets having fallen in three days so far, it is difficult to see 26 dropping to bring about a result over the next two.

Company profile

Name: WallyGPT
Started: 2014
Founders: Saeid and Sami Hejazi
Based: Dubai
Sector: FinTech
Investment raised: $7.1 million
Number of staff: 20
Investment stage: Pre-seed round

UAE currency: the story behind the money in your pockets

Black Panther
Dir: Ryan Coogler
Starring: Chadwick Boseman, Michael B Jordan, Lupita Nyong'o
Five stars

if you go
'My Son'

Director: Christian Carion

Starring: James McAvoy, Claire Foy, Tom Cullen, Gary Lewis

Rating: 2/5

COMPANY PROFILE

Name: Haltia.ai
Started: 2023
Co-founders: Arto Bendiken and Talal Thabet
Based: Dubai, UAE
Industry: AI
Number of employees: 41
Funding: About $1.7 million
Investors: Self, family and friends

SPECS

Engine: 2-litre 4-cylinder petrol (V Class); electric motor with 60kW or 90kW powerpack (EQV)
Power: 233hp (V Class, best option); 204hp (EQV, best option)
Torque: 350Nm (V Class, best option); TBA (EQV)
On sale: Mid-2024
Price: TBA

 

 

 


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