Japan court rejects Ghosn release bid

Carlos Ghosn, Chairman and CEO of the Renault-Nissan Alliance, reacts during a news conference in Paris, France, September 15, 2017. (File/Reuters/Philippe Wojazer)
Updated 09 January 2019
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Japan court rejects Ghosn release bid

  • Ghosn stands accused of under-reporting his income in documents to investors, apparently in response to criticism that he earned too much
  • The presiding judge explained that Ghosn continued to be detained because he presented a flight risk

TOKYO: A Japanese court on Wednesday rejected a bid by former Nissan boss Carlos Ghosn to end his detention over alleged financial misconduct, a day after he denied all accusations in a dramatic court appearance.
Ghosn’s lawyers had appealed to the court to free the auto tycoon, claiming at a special hearing in a Tokyo court there were no grounds for his detention, which has now lasted more than 50 days.
But the court batted off the request, saying in a terse statement: “The request to cancel the detention filed by Mr. Ghosn’s lawyers yesterday... was rejected on January 9.”
Ghosn stands accused of under-reporting his income in documents to investors, apparently in response to criticism that he earned too much.
He is also under investigation for allegedly seeking to pass off personal investment losses to Nissan’s books and paying a Saudi businessman from company funds to stump up collateral to cover the losses.
Ghosn on Tuesday mounted a systematic denial of all the allegations, concluding that he had been “wrongly accused and unfairly detained based on meritless and unsubstantiated accusations.”
The presiding judge explained that Ghosn continued to be detained because he presented a flight risk and there were concerns he could tamper with evidence.
On Friday, Ghosn’s latest maximum period of detention will end and he will either be freed on bail or — more likely — see his detention extended.
Even his main lawyer Motonari Otsuru has acknowledged the 64-year-old executive has little chance of being released soon, describing it as “very difficult” to win bail before the case goes to trial.
And that, he said, could take at least six months.


‘Unprecedented’ crackdown on crime welcomed by Afghans

Updated 18 January 2019
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‘Unprecedented’ crackdown on crime welcomed by Afghans

  • Interior Minister Amruallah Saleh's first act was to order his subordinates to ignore the long-standing tradition of presenting politicians with flowers and gowns when they are promoted
  • Saleh has also banned politicians and lawmakers from traveling with their ubiquitous security details (

KABUL: When Amruallah Saleh took office as Afghanistan’s interior minister last month, he wasted no time setting out his stall. His first act was to order his subordinates to ignore the long-standing tradition of presenting politicians with flowers and gowns when they are promoted.

“Lay down the flowers that you have bought as gifts for me on the graves of martyrs who you know from the security forces,” he said in a speech after assuming office last month. “Put the gown that you have bought for me on the shoulders of the broken-hearted fathers of the fallen.”

He went on to discuss his determination to act “mercilessly against criminals and the enemy.” At the time, many assumed Saleh’s comments to be the usual empty political promises so often heard from Afghan politicians assuming office in recent years, particularly as attacks by militants and criminal activity increased in Kabul in the early weeks of Saleh’s tenure. 

However, it seems as though Saleh, a former spymaster, is making good on his promise. The joint measures he has instigated with Kabul’s police chiefs to crack down on crime — including naming and shaming those wanted for involvement in criminal activity — have been a success. Some arrests have already been made, and a number of individuals on the blacklist have reportedly turned themselves in for questioning.

“He has shown decisiveness and courage by naming some of the culprits. That in itself is an initiative that has made people optimistic,” security analyst and retired general Attiqullah Amarkhail told Arab News.

Saleh has also banned politicians and lawmakers from traveling with their ubiquitous security details (usually traveling in a convoy of blacked-out vehicles) inside Kabul. Unsurprisingly, that move has attracted criticism from some senators, but has been welcomed by residents and other politicians.

Zaki Nadery, a Kabul resident, said the nation was “thirsty for reform” and that people already feel more secure in the city now that steps have been taken against lawbreakers, a sentiment echoed by several people interviewed by Arab News.

“People now have a relative sense of psychological and mental security. This is the result of tangible results from the work of the new minister. People have begun to trust and respect the police,” Nadery said.