Prosecutors indict Ghosn on two new charges


His lawyer said on Friday that he would make another request for bail.

The case has sparked questions about the Japanese justice system and the ability of prosecutors to keep suspects in jail for extended periods of time while investigations continue.

Ghosn has remained in custody at the Tokyo Detention House since his arrest by prosecutors in November for allegedly understating his remuneration in Nissan's securities reports.

Ghosn is being held in a cell with a toilet and a wash basin.

During the hearing Tuesday, Ghosn appeared much thinner than before he was arrested.

He was already facing the first charge for allegedly under-reporting his compensation over five years to the tune of five billion yen in official documents to shareholders.

His chief lawyer has said that Ghosn could theoretically be detained for a minimum of another six months, citing the complexities of the case and said that bail is unlikely to be granted as he has unequivocally denied all allegations against him.

Nissan said earlier that its board had also met on Thursday, when directors had received "an updated report" on its own investigations into Ghosn's alleged misconduct. A doctor was tending to Ghosn, who has been worn down by the long detention and interrogations.

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Ghosn was the overlord of an alliance that included Nissan Motor, Mitsubishi Motors and France's Renault, until his surprise November arrest and removal as chairman of both Japanese automakers sent shockwaves through the industry.

Japan's prosecutors have faced criticism for a lack of clarity and communication on how they are handling the case, with Ghosn held in detention without charge for longer than would be permitted in the United Kingdom for a suspected terrorist.

Sources close to the matter said Friday, however, that his legal team would likely seek bail for their client, despite a Tokyo judge believing Ghosn may destroy evidence and flee the country, if bail is granted.

A prosecutor's office spokeswoman said the charges against Ghosn carry a maximum prison sentence of 15 years. The company is still investigating payments to the board - of which Ghosn is a member - made in previous years.

Ghosn has strongly denied the allegations against him. Ghosn's lawyers dispute those claims. The allegations include misrepresenting earned salary, transferring personal investment losses to the automaker, and misuse of company funds to secure credit for personal investments. All told, Ghosn said he always acted with integrity and had never been accused of any wrongdoing in his professional career.

The court rejected an appeal by Ghosn's lawyers for his release from detention, and on Thursday turned down another appeal.

Kelly and Nissan were not charged with breach of trust.

Nissan and Renault stay together The legal woes have strained the partnership between Nissan and Renault, the French auto maker that owns over 40 per cent of Nissan. Ghosn remains CEO of Renault.