Nissan’s Ghosn re-arrested, chances of imminent bail dashed

The Ghosn case has put Japan’s criminal justice system under international scrutiny and sparked criticism for some of its practices. (File/AP)
Updated 21 December 2018
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Nissan’s Ghosn re-arrested, chances of imminent bail dashed

  • The move comes a day after a Tokyo court unexpectedly rejected prosecutors’ request to extend Ghosn’s detention
  • The re-arrest means he could be detained for at least another 10 days in a Tokyo jail

TOKYO: Japanese prosecutors re-arrested Nissan Motor Co. Ltd’s ousted chairman Carlos Ghosn on Friday on fresh allegations of making Nissan shoulder $16.6 million in personal investment losses, dashing chances he would be released on bail imminently.
The move comes a day after a Tokyo court unexpectedly rejected prosecutors’ request to extend Ghosn’s detention, which raised the possibility that he could go free on bail as early as Friday.
The re-arrest means he could be detained for at least another 10 days in a Tokyo jail, where he has been confined since he was arrested last month on initial allegations of financial misconduct.
The Tokyo prosecutor said the new allegations were based on suspicions that around October 2008, Ghosn shifted personal trades to the automaker, so that he could avoid paying for 1.85 billion yen ($16.6 million) in losses.
His lawyer, Motonari Otsuru, was not available for comment. The lawyer has previously declined to return calls regarding the Ghosn case.
The Tokyo court said in a statement that the lawyer for Greg Kelly, who was arrested along with Ghosn, has requested the release of Ghosn’s former deputy. Kelly’s detention extension was rejected along with Ghosn’s.
The dramatic turn of events came hours after Ghosn, through his lawyer and quoted by Japanese public broadcaster NHK, vowed to restore his good name in court and to hold a news conference after his release.
“Things as they stand are absolutely unacceptable,” he was quoted as saying. “I want to have my position heard and restore my honor in court.”
Ghosn was initially arrested on Nov. 19 for allegedly understating his income by about half over a five-year period from 2010. He was later charged with the same alleged crime covering the past three years.
Television camera crews had gathered outside the Tokyo jail on Friday morning in hopes of catching sight of Ghosn being released.
The Ghosn case has put Japan’s criminal justice system under international scrutiny and sparked criticism for some of its practices, including keeping suspects in detention for long periods and prohibiting defense lawyers from being present during interrogations, which can last eight hours a day.
Ghosn’s arrest has marked a dramatic fall for a leader once hailed for rescuing Nissan from the brink of bankruptcy.
It has also shaken the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi alliance, with Nissan Chief Executive Hiroto Saikawa calling for changes to weaken Renault SA’s control.


US-China trade deal hopes grow as oil prices decline

Updated 11 min 43 sec ago
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US-China trade deal hopes grow as oil prices decline

  • Data suggested a smaller-than-expected fall in American crude inventories
  • Preparations underway for Donald Trump to meet Xi Jinping next week at the G20 summit in Osaka

LONDON: Oil prices declined on Wednesday as data suggested a smaller-than-expected fall in American crude inventories, as hopes for a US-China trade deal continue to grow.
Brent crude futures were down 51 cents at $61.72 a barrel.
US West Texas Intermediate crude fell 25 cents to $53.65 a barrel. On Tuesday, it had recorded its biggest daily rise since early January.
After weeks of swelling, US crude stocks fell by 812,000 barrels last week to 482 million, the American Petroleum Institute said on Tuesday, a smaller fall than the 1.1-million-barrel drop analysts had expected.
Official estimates on US crude stockpiles from the US government’s Energy Information Administration are due during afternoon trading.
US President Donald Trump offered some support, saying preparations were underway for him to meet Chinese President Xi Jinping next week at the G20 summit in Osaka, Japan, amid hopes a trade deal could be thrashed out between the two powers. Trump has repeatedly threatened China with tariffs since winning office in 2016.
European Central Bank President Mario Draghi also offered a boost, saying on Tuesday that he would ease policy again if inflation failed to accelerate.
Tensions remain high in the Middle East after last week’s tanker attacks. Fears of a confrontation between Iran and the US have mounted, with Washington blaming Tehran, which has denied any role.
Trump said he was prepared to take military action to stop Iran having a nuclear bomb but left open whether he would approve the use of force to protect Gulf oil supplies.
On Wednesday, oil markets shrugged off a rocket attack on a site in southern Iraq used by foreign oil companies.
“It is interesting to note that the crude oil futures market could not rally on hawks planting bombs in the Strait of Hormuz but could rally on doves planting quantitative easing,” Petromatrix’s Olivier Jakob said in a note.
“This is an oil market that doesn’t know how to react when an oil tanker blows up but knows how to react when the head of a central bank makes some noise.”
Members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries have agreed to meet on July 1, followed by a meeting with non-OPEC allies on July 2, after weeks of wrangling over dates.
OPEC and its allies will discuss whether to extend a deal on cutting 1.2 million barrels per day of production that runs out this month.