Japan court rejects ex-Nissan chief’s bail appeal

Motonari Otsuru, chief lawyer of former Nissan chairman Carlos Ghosn appealed the decision of the Japanese court against bail. (File/AFP)
Updated 17 January 2019

Japan court rejects ex-Nissan chief’s bail appeal

  • With the latest rejection he faces at least a two-month period in pre-trial detention, which can be extended almost automatically by one month at a time
  • Since his stunning arrest on Nov. 19 the auto tycoon has languished in a Tokyo detention center

TOKYO: Former Nissan boss Carlos Ghosn will stay behind bars in Japan for the foreseeable future after a Tokyo court quashed his appeal for bail as he faces charges on three counts of financial misconduct.
Since his stunning arrest on November 19 the auto tycoon has languished in a Tokyo detention center, facing questioning over allegations he under-reported his salary and tried to shift personal losses on to the company.
The court had previously refused to release the 64-year-old Franco-Lebanese-Brazilian businessman on the grounds that he could present a flight risk and destroy evidence.
Last week he was formally charged on two of the counts and his request for bail was denied. Even his own lawyer has admitted he is likely to be kept behind bars until a trial — which could take six months.
His legal team said they would now appeal to the Supreme Court.
The appeal — and its rejection — came as the French government called for him to be replaced at the head of Renault, the only one of the three companies he used to head that has retained him.
Japanese firms Nissan and Mitsubishi Motors jettisoned him as boss almost immediately after his arrest, but Renault was more cautious and appointed an interim leader while Ghosn fought the charges.
With the latest rejection he faces at least a two-month period in pre-trial detention. This can be extended almost automatically by one month at a time.
His wife Carole has appealed to rights group Human Rights Watch over his detention, saying he was being held in “harsh” conditions and subjected to round-the-clock interrogations in an attempt to extract a confession.
Ghosn has been seen only once in public since his detention, in a dramatic court appearance.
He had clearly lost a lot of weight but seemed otherwise in good health. He passionately proclaimed his innocence and his love for Nissan, a company he is widely credited with saving from the brink of bankruptcy.
“I have been wrongly accused and unfairly detained based on meritless and unsubstantiated accusations,” Ghosn told a packed courtroom.


Africa development bank says risks to continent’s growth ‘increasing by the day’

Updated 18 August 2019

Africa development bank says risks to continent’s growth ‘increasing by the day’

  • The trade dispute between US and China has roiled global markets and unnerved investors
  • African nations need to boost trade with each other to cushion the impact of external shocks

DAR ES SALAAM: The US-China trade war and uncertainty over Brexit pose risks to Africa’s economic prospects that are “increasing by the day,” the head of the African Development Bank (AfDB) told Reuters.
The trade dispute between the world’s two largest economies has roiled global markets and unnerved investors as it stretches into its second year with no end in sight.
Britain, meanwhile, appears to be on course to leave the European Union on Oct. 31 without a transition deal, which economists fear could severely disrupt trade flows.
Akinwumi Adesina, president of the AfDB, said the bank could review its economic growth projection for Africa — of 4 percent in 2019 and 4.1 percent in 2020 — if global external shocks accelerate.
“We normally revise this depending on global external shocks that could slowdown global growth and these issues are increasing by the day,” Adesina told Reuters late on Saturday on the sidelines of the Southern African Development Community meeting in Tanzania’s commercial capital Dar es Salaam.
“You have Brexit, you also have the recent challenges between Pakistan and India that have flared off there, plus you have the trade war between the United States and China. All these things can combine to slow global growth, with implications for African countries.”
The bank chief said African nations need to boost trade with each other and add value to agricultural produce to cushion the impact of external shocks.
“I think the trade war has significantly impacted economic growth prospects in China and therefore import demand from China has fallen significantly and so demand for products and raw materials from Africa will only fall even further,” he said.
“It will also have another effect with regard to China’s own outward-bound investments on the continent,” he added, saying these could also affect official development assistance.
Adesina said a continental free-trade zone launched last month, the African Continental Free Trade Area, could help speed up economic growth and development, but African nations needed to remove non-tariff barriers to boost trade.
“The countries that have always been facing lower volatilities have always been the ones that do a lot more in terms of regional trade and do not rely on exports of raw materials,” Adesina said.
“The challenges cannot be solved unless all the barriers come down. Free mobility of labor, free mobility of capital and free mobility of people.”