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Japan’s Supreme Court rejects Ghosn’s appeal against detention

Kazuhiro Nogi, AFP | Former Nissan Chairman Carlos Ghosn seen leaving his lawyer's on April 3, 2019, a day before his re-arrest.

Japan's Supreme Court rejected an appeal by lawyers for Carlos Ghosn against his detention, in a decision relayed to foreign media Monday, dashing the former Nissan boss's hopes for an early release.

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Ghosn was arrested in November and released on bail last month, but was re-arrested April 4.

The court decision came Friday, and was relayed to foreign media Monday.

The 65-year-old former auto tycoon had appealed to Japan's highest court after lower court judges ruled he could be questioned for a 10-day period over allegations of financial misconduct.

He's been charged with falsifying financial documents in under-reporting his retirement compensation and with breach of trust in allegedly dubious payments.

Ghosn says he's innocent, noting that the compensation was never decided and that the payments were legitimate.

His detention has been approved through April 22 but can be extended. It's unclear when his trial will start.

Ghosn led Nissan for two decades, rescuing it from the brink of bankruptcy.

Video statement alleges ‘backstabbing’

In a video message released April 9, Ghosn lashed out at what he termed a "plot" by "backstabbing" Nissan executives scared of closer integration with French partner firm Renault.

The case has transfixed Japan and the business world since the tycoon was arrested out of the blue at a Tokyo airport on November 19 and whisked off to the detention centre.

He spent 108 days in an initial period of custody, in conditions he said he would not wish on his "worst enemy", forced to sleep with the light on and forbidden from contact with his loved ones.

Ghosn then won bail, stumping up $9 million (€8m) for his freedom and submitting to strict bail conditions including not using the internet or contacting anyone connected to the case.

But in another twist, he was then re-arrested in a dawn raid on April 4 for more questioning.

Once hailed as Nissan's saviour, Ghosn is fighting to restore his reputation after he was removed almost immediately from the head of the company and later resigned as boss of Renault as he fights the allegations.

His lengthy detention has sparked some criticism of the Japanese justice system, derided by some as "hostage justice" as suspects can be held for a long time without formal charges.

(FRANCE 24 with AP and AFP)

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